Hengrove Healthplex, Hengrove Park, Bristol

Source: www.hengrovepark.com

Project description

The Healthplex is a joint service centre incorporating a new sports facility, community hospital and skills academy. A shared atrium space is the venue for a range of community services such as an adult training and learning centre, a community information point, creche/soft play area and rest areas for visitors.

The healthplex is situated in a whole park site, of around 10,800m2 in total. This comprises 90% community leisure facilities and 10% health facilities.

The catchment area for the majority of the facilities provided is South Bristol, around 20 minutes drive time, although the 50m swimming pool will serve a wider, more regional catchment area.

Project Update (December 2008)

Bristol City Council selected Bristol Active Ltd to be its preferred bidder in July 2008. The project is expected to start on site in March 2009 with the facility opening in September 2010.

Source: www.hengrovepark.com

Aims and objectives

The health of South Bristol residents is lower than many other areas. For example, average life expectancy is shorter in South Bristol than North Bristol. A new sports facility alongside a new community hospital is designed to provide ill and recovering patients with an opportunity to exercise. This innovative approach by the council and its partners to delivering joint health and sports services more efficiently and effectively is likely to reverse this inequality.

Services offered

South Bristol Community Hospital
Health services at the community hospital will include:

  • A walk-in minor injuries unit and GP out-of-hours service
  • Operating theatres for day surgery
  • Inpatient beds for stroke and rehabilitation
  • Clinics for a range of outpatient appointments
  • Diagnostic tests such as X-rays, scans and endoscopies
  • Dental services and training for student dentists
  • Link into leisure facilities planned for the site.

South Bristol Skills Academy

The South Bristol Skills Academy will comprise an 11000 sq m iconic building and will be the centrepiece of education and training opportunities for local people in the area.

The academy is a consolidation of existing centres in South Bristol and will provide a range of courses for local people including:

  • Construction
  • Health and social care
  • Leisure, hair and beauty
  • Hospitality and catering
  • Motor vehicle, motor cycle and engineering
  • Information technology.

Leisure Centre - Healthplex

The new sports and swimming complex will feature:

  • Ten-lane 50-metre swimming pool, with adjustable floor, suitable for family, fitness and competition swimming
  • Learner pool, with adjustable floor, providing fun swimming for the whole family
  • Spa and steam room
  • Health and fitness suite with 150 stations offering running, rowing, cycling and other fitness machines, and a free weights area
  • Aerobics studio
  • Four court sports hall for badminton, basketball, athletics training, five-a-side football, and netball.
  • Modern and attractive changing facilities, and meeting rooms.

Benefits of co-location  

Co-location will allow for more effective outreach work with the local community because the Healthplex will also be the point of contact for park visitors hiring boats and bicycles for use in the park. Visitors will be able to use other services such as indoor sports and holistic physical activities and therapies in one location, supported by effective development work in surrounding communities.

Services operated from the facility will target South Bristol residents on low incomes through a concessionary pricing policy and those most at risk from inactivity on health and social welfare grounds. This will be through the delivery of health care services in partnership with sports and health promotion programmes.

There will be enhanced partnerships between the Community Hospital, the Healthy Schools initiatives and the School Sports Coordinator programme to inform and educate children and young people about the benefits and positive impacts of diet and exercise through the PE and sport curriculum.

Partnership working between the community hospital and sports centre will be specifically co-ordinated and tailored so that patients referred for exercise keeping coming. It will promote positive health interventions and get patients exercising more compared to before their illness.

The facility's health and exercise programmes will address the high drop-out rate of people who rarely follow up medical advice. The programmes will support the network of locally determined facilities, projects, programmes and initiatives.

The facility will offer a range of learning and personal development opportunities, including talks, visits, meditation classes, university of the third age and arts activities. It will also support those with learning disabilities and offer psychological and behavioural interventions and support, exercise, dietary support and education.

The facility will provide increased access to first class rehabilitation programmes for such common, disabling conditions as arthritis, angina, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, stroke, frailty and osteoporosis.

Success factors

  • Commitment from project partners that joint service delivery is deliverable
  • Project development timescales need to be aligned
  • Realistic approach to business planning and recognising the costs of running development programmes.

Risk factors

  • The facility will need firm commitment from project partners if it is to happen
  • Negative perception from the local community and lack of understanding of the concept. For example, there could be a perception that a hospital is a place for ill people to be treated, not a place where healthy people go to learn about keeping well.

Business/operational model

  • The city council will provide a subsidy to operate the facility, although it is anticipated that profits generated from certain elements, such as the fitness gym, studio, leisure pool and retail units will help to offset the deficit
  • Hospital breaks even due to the private sector clinics in the building and the funding from government

Financing and delivery/procurement

Contact details

Stuart Woods
Programme Manager
Culture and Leisure Services
Bristol City Council
33 Colston Avenue
Bristol BS1 4UA
T: 0117 922 4355
M: 07795 446145
F: 0117 922 3735


Visit the Bristol City
Council website

Visit the Hengrove
Park website