The innovative partnership between the Centre and Bromley by Bow Health is heralded as a sign of the radical community-focused future for primary care and NHS property in the UK post-COVID.

A significant new report, commissioned by NHS Property Services and published by The Kings Fund, highlights that wider adoption of the community-first, integrated approach of the Bromley by Bow Centre is essential to help gear-up to a post-COVID world. The report looks at how the NHS could better use its community facilities to support holistic care, social prescribing approaches and community resilience. The Centre is highlighted throughout as an exemplar, both in its use of premises and in the holistic model that focuses on the social determinants of health.

The way that our suite of community services, inspiring buildings and green spaces are fully integrated with primary care on one site is admired; as is the approach focused on making decisions with our community, not for it. We welcome this report as it becomes clear the impact of the pandemic in the UK will be most devastating and long-lasting for communities that already face the greatest socio-economic challenges.

The call for a stronger focus on virtual health consultations and reduced physical footfall is expected to continue, at the same time as the levels of loneliness and mental ill-health spiral in our community. We recognise we need to embrace the positive aspects of virtual consultations, but we must also get back to real face-to-face human connections that have immense healing and restorative effect. Something that is needed now more than ever.

That’s why the Bromley by Bow model is so important at this time. At the Centre, you can visit your GP but you can also be supported with urgent advice, learn new skills, find work, meet friends, volunteer, or simply enjoy the beautiful park and gardens or a relax with a coffee in the café.

The report indicates the time for a radical shift and re-focus in the UK is now and our Insights team will be supporting this by sharing our blueprint with communities across the country.

You can read the full report here.

For more information about our work and our model, get in touch with our Insights team.