Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust turned 10 on 1 April 2021.
Established on the 1 April 2011, the organisation is a leading provider of NHS community health services to the people of Warrington, Halton, St Helens and Oldham. It also provides community dental services across key areas throughout Greater Manchester and Cheshire.
For the past decade, Bridgewater has delivered NHS health and care closer to a patient’s home and away from a hospital. Community locations include clinics, health centres, community centres, schools, care settings and patient homes.
Highlighting the special milestone, Colin Scales, Bridgewater Chief Executive said:
“To the tens of thousands of people we see each year, we are the glue that holds their care together.
“We provide the support, equipment and expertise that allow people to live as independently as possible in their own home. We are also the people who help to get them back on their feet and back into work after major surgery.
“Our services are there for the families giving birth, raising their children, advising on childcare and immunisations, helping their adolescent years, supporting older age and planning their end of life.
“NHS community services really do make a difference to so many people.”
The range of services that Bridgewater provides is vast. It varies from district nursing and falls prevention, to speech and language therapy and health visiting.
The Coronavirus pandemic has of course changed the way in which many services have operated over the past 12 or so months. Technology such a video consultations and telephone conversations have been hugely important throughout the pandemic. But so has keeping that individual face-to-face contact for those needing that personal care, albeit socially distanced and wearing the correct protective equipment.
As our way out of lockdown slowly emerges, we cannot shy away from the fact that this remains a hugely challenging time for the NHS and its workforce.
Speaking about the pandemic and the impact it has had on staff, Colin added:
“Our teams have been nothing short of inspirational in addressing Covid-19.
“The last twelve or so months have presented many challenges that perhaps none of us would have ever thought we would see in a career in healthcare.
“Our hope of normality lies in the vaccination programme being rolled out here in the UK and around the world.
“Taking time to reflect on the events of the past year, it seems fitting that our recognition of thanks and gratitude coincides with Bridgewater’s tenth anniversary.”
But was does the next ten years hold for community services? Looking towards the future, Colin said:
“Our focus as an organisation will be on strengthening the relationships we have with our primary care, acute sector and local authority colleagues.
“In the upset and impact that Covid-19 has brought to so many families, our hope is that we take this opportunity to learn from the pandemic by really championing the corner of community health services and the important part it plays to so many.
“I would like to thank our Bridgewater colleagues past and present, as well as the partners we work so closely with. My final thanks go to the public and the patients we have proudly served and cared for over the past 10 years.”