What's Happening in Blackburn blog

Health centre opened by top athlete

Top athlete Holly Bleasdale officially opened a new health centre before meeting local students and taking part in a question and answer session.

Holly, 20, who is the European pole vaulting champion, opened the new Barbara Castle Way Health Centre in Blackburn.

The athlete, who is also a member of Blackburn Harriers and is expected to take part in the London 2012 Olympics, was the guest of honour at the official opening ceremony in March.

She then met sports science students from the next-door Blackburn College to answer questions.

The ceremony was attended by local dignitaries and NHS staff who work in the new state-of-the-art centre.

Patients started using the facility last year. It was built to give greater access to health services in an easy-to-reach town centre location. Facilities include x-ray and ultrasound, consultant led dermatology clinics, GP practices, community dentistry, a treatment room, minor ops and outpatients.

Sir Bill Taylor, a non-executive director of NHS Lancashire, said: “Barbara Castle Way Health Centre brings together many of the 21st century health and well being facilities and services that patients need and deserve and it is on so many people’s doorsteps.

“I have visited and used the services housed within this impressive building and believe it is the shape of things to come.

“Holly Bleasdale is an inspiring role model and we are delighted and proud that she agreed to open our health centre and speak to young people.”

Dr Chris Clayton, chair of Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We know that, where appropriate, we get the best health outcomes when patients are treated in the community rather than in hospital.

“We are committed to providing more healthcare this way and we welcome the opening of a fantastic facility like Barbara Castle Way Health Centre because this is what makes it all possible.”

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