Shackleton House, Ryde, which is to become a community hub. Picture by Laura Holme.
ELDERLY people and those with long-term health conditions who live in Ryde will no longer have to travel to St Mary’s Hospital for treatment, following the opening of a new health centre in the town.
A £1.47 million project to convert Shackleton House, a former dementia unit, at Pellhurst Road, has been approved by Isle of Wight NHS bosses.
Building work is due to start in March and should be completed by June.
Health and social care services offered at the community hub will include physiotherapy, podiatry, blood testing, speech and language therapy, health visiting and mental health community clinics. They will be transferred from Ryde Outpatients Department and Swanmore House, Swanmore Road, which will be closed in July.
The community nursing team, currently based at Tower House Surgery, Rink Road, will also be relocated to the new health centre.
In addition to NHS services, voluntary and community groups could also be based at the hub, offering information and advice to people with long-term health conditions and running drop-in clinics, falls prevention workshops and exercise classes.
Two further community hubs are due to open in the near future, one in south wight and the other in central or west wight.
According to a report presented to the Isle of Wight NHS Trust board on Wednesday, the hubs will improve community access to health services — ensuring people are treated locally, instead of at hospital, and helping them live independently in their home town or village — and supporting them to manage their health problems.