The Gorton Hub provides a one-stop-shop for residents to access a range of health and social care services, employment support and more.
In November 2022, the Gorton Hub opened its doors to the people of Gorton and its surrounding neighbourhoods in Manchester. The hub will ultimately provide a one-stop-shop for residents to access a range of health and social care services, employment support and more – all within a brand-new accessible building.
It will include a GP practice, the integrated community health and social care team, a pharmacy, One Manchester (housing association), Gorton library, a cafe, Jobcentre Plus, and space for Manchester Adult Education Service to respond to local skills need.
Gorton is one of Manchester’s most deprived areas, with health outcomes among the most challenging in the city. The health and care estate here was old, inadequate and costly. Manchester City Council and its partners saw an opportunity to create a new community hub which would improve public service delivery through co-location and integration in a purpose-built facility.
Partnership working is well established in Manchester, with the focus firmly on a place-based approach to service delivery. A collaborative approach called ‘Bringing services together for people in places’, led by the city council, is looking at how different services can be integrated within a ‘team around the neighbourhood’ approach in each part of the city. This collaborative effort includes the council’s neighbourhood, adult and children’s social care teams, health partners, the police, housing providers, and voluntary and community organisations.
The Manchester Local Care Organisation was set up in 2018, enabling the council and its health partners to create 12 integrated neighbourhood teams. These teams bring together community health (such as district nursing and therapy) and adult social care, linked with GPs, integrated and co-located to provide seamless planning and delivery of care.
In Gorton, the opportunity arose to place one of these integrated neighbourhood teams in a new purpose-built hub, co-locating them with other public sector partners in a way that would:
- improve services for residents
- provide a blueprint for how public services can take a more integrated approach to service delivery
- deliver a regenerative benefit to this part of the city.
Manchester City Council led this work – putting a governance structure in place, arranging the funding, and bringing everyone together to explore how it could work. The council received a £1.5 million grant to support the delivery of a new GP practice. Otherwise, the hub was funded through council borrowing, with the loan being repaid over 25 years using rent received from all the partners involved.
The Gorton Hub opened its doors with four services in place:
- the relocated Gorton Library
- the integrated health and social care team, plus treatment rooms
- Manchester Adult Education Service
- Jobcentre Plus.
They will be joined by a GP practice, pharmacy, cafe and One Manchester (housing and tenant support). Other public sector tenants may move into the hub over time.
It is early days for the hub, but there are already positive outcomes. The library has seen almost double the number of visits per week compared to its previous location. When the GP practice opens, footfall to the building will increase significantly. The building will also host community events, such as a jobs fair which took place here in December 2022: more than 30 local employers took part and over 400 people were linked into employment opportunities.
Councillor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said the hub recognises that housing, health, employment, education and social care are all interconnected. “That’s why the Gorton Hub is so innovative. It helps us all think a bit differently about the support we need and will allow our residents to access those services more easily.”
The hub is acting as a catalyst for further regeneration. Manchester City Council is working on a Gorton District Centre masterplan which includes new shops, public realm and affordable housing. Public assets vacated due to the hub will help to kick-start further development linked to priorities such as delivering new homes.
Manchester City Council is using funding from the Government and National Lottery’s ‘Changing futures’ programme to explore new ways of delivering services to people experiencing multiple disadvantage. This has trialled in three areas of the city, with Shelter as the delivery partner, and funding has now been secured to work with 100 cases over two years at the Gorton Hub.
- Gorton presented a particular combination of need and opportunity, but a dedicated building is not essential for this integrated ‘team around the neighbourhood’ approach.
- It took a lot of work, over many years, to get to a point where the partners could commit to relocating to the hub – the vision was maintained.
Services that have relocated will not have to constantly reinvest in old and inefficient buildings.
For more information contact Mark Rainey, Strategic Lead – Neighbourhoods, Manchester City Council: [email protected] or Tom Wiseman, Neighbourhood Manager: [email protected].