Delivering collaborative services in a rural area | Buxton place based area review

The North Midlands partnership is rethinking how public services can be delivered together to improve service delivery for its residents.


Region: North East, Yorkshire and Humber, East Midlands
Theme: Integrated public services, Locality Reviews, Health and Social care (in OPE)

The challenge

There is a lack of good quality, fit for purpose, public buildings to serve the community within Buxton, a spa town with around 20,000 residents in Derbyshire. Health and social care services are currently spread across nine independent sites which no longer suit the needs of the local community and are inefficient.

The story

The Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust identified and secured a key development site in the town centre, of approximately 3.5 acres, to deliver a purpose built facility to replace the existing model of isolated service provision. 

One Public Estate (OPE) provided £100,000 for feasibility work to enable the local NHS, Local Authorities and a number of other public sector partners to explore opportunities to deliver public services within Buxton more collaboratively. The funding has been utilised to complete the feasibility study and produce an outline business case in order to move the project forward. 

The North Midlands people sitting at desks photo

Co-locating services such as Community and Primary Care, Social Care, Library Services and wider Local Authority Services will provide a better quality, fit for purpose service to its residents.  Buxton will also benefit from the opportunity to deliver around 70 new homes of various tenure on the vacated sites, which will further address the needs of the local community. 

Dan Swaine, Chief Executive of North East Derbyshire and Bolsover District Council, and Chair of the Derbyshire Steering Group commented that ‘OPE shows that by working together we can make better use of our physical resources but also use the opportunity to look at how our services are designed and delivered. We’ve had great project support from our Programme Manager who’s made the most from peoples interest and enthusiasm so that we have clear projects where OPE funding will make a difference. I think our programme is the start of something much bigger and going forward I think we can build on our success and make sure that the OPE programme supports and delivers true public sector reform’.

Being part of the OPE programme has allowed the public sector to work better together, taking a strategic approach to asset management to enable better service delivery and improvement. The support provided by the OPE regional team enables communication between central government, local government and wider public sector partners, whilst also providing the opportunity to share best practice with partnerships who may have faced similar challenges.

The outcomes

This project alone has identified the potential to deliver the following benefits over 10 years:

  • generate capital receipts of £1.6 million
  • reduce building related running costs by £2.4 million per year
  • release land to develop 70 new homes
  • create 105 jobs in the local area, further supporting the local economy.

The more cohesive and customer focused health and social care provision also provides the opportunity to co-deliver services in the future, providing a better, more accessible service to local residents.

William Jones, Chief Operating Officer for Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, said: “There are exciting opportunities for improving the provision of health and other public services in Buxton associated with this land deal. All of us involved in this collaborative project now need to look carefully at taking this forward for the best possible outcome for people living in the town.”

For further information please contact our Regional Programme Managers for North East, Yorkshire and Humber, East Midlands.