'EXCITING' new community care centres are set to make a big impact on the health and wellbeing of York residents and help to tackle the city's health inequalities.

So says Professor Mike Holmes, of primary care services provider Nimbuscare, which is preparing to open York's second such centre at Acomb Garth after having created the first one at the Covid vaccination centre at Askham Bar.

Writing in his weekly column for The Press, he says the centres have been specifically designed to feel very non-clinical and will be very different from a GP surgery.

"The aim is to bring together health and care providers and partners to create something which can make a big impact on the health and wellbeing of local people," he says.

"Several health, care and voluntary providers will work there, treating more than just ill health. This resource aims to unlock the potential for communities to live well with community volunteers, social workers, council services, health workers and carers all working together."

He says one of the main priorities will be to acknowledge, address and tackle health inequalities, knowing that many people do not visit their GP, get their vaccinations or get problems seen by a specialist until it’s too late.

"Some are scared, some are just unaware of what is available and how we can help," he said.

"We hope the Community Care Centres will reach out to these members of our society and, having something closer to people’s homes, which offers holistic care and support, will be valuable."

He hoped the centres would become places where people could feel safe and welcome, and would support people with a range of social, emotional and practical needs.

They would bring services, that previously people may have had to travel to, to their community, such as blood taking, physio, menopause clinics and fertility services.

He said other services being introduced at Acomb Garth would include retinal screening, ear wax removal, wound care and ultrasound services.

"We also hope it will be a place where people who have been housebound and isolated can come, for the benefit of their physical and mental wellbeing."

He said two ground-breaking new services would be based at Acomb Garth.

The new community Musculoskeletal (MSK) service would help people with painful muscle and joint conditions, for which they had often been waiting longer to get treatment due to the pandemic.

The other new facility was a‘Waiting Well’ service, which would offer further support to people who were waiting for procedures or surgery. "We’ve been working with the City of York Council’s public health team and the Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) social prescribing team to support these patients."

*Today's column is on page 12.