ONE of the opinions which has resonated in response to plans for Eastern Vale and Penarth getting a new integrated health service called the "Wellbeing Hub" was – "people do not know what it is".

That was how a councillor described what his constituents felt about the idea at a health board public engagement session presenting plans for the Wellbeing Hub.

Now, Penarth Times has gone to one of these hubs and seen them in action.

Penarth Times: The 'Wellbeing Hub' in Llanedeyrn, CardiffThe 'Wellbeing Hub' in Llanedeyrn, Cardiff (Image: Newsquest)

We recently visited the Maelfa Wellbeing Hub in Llanedeyrn, Cardiff.

Described in the health board’s ‘Shaping Our Future Wellbeing’ plans, a Wellbeing Hub is an “integrated, community-focused health and wellbeing facility (that) provides people with access to primary care (for example, doctors, physiotherapists and optometrists) and a wider range of health, care, and wellbeing services in the community.”

When we visited Maelfa’s Wellbeing Hub, the first challenge was parking, with cars overspilling out of the small car park used to supply the facility.

Penarth Times: Reception areaReception area (Image: Newsquest)

Penarth Times: Light, airy spaceLight, airy space (Image: Newsquest)

When we went into the facility we noticed it was quiet – maybe that was down to time of day (3.30pm on a midweek) – but we also noticed it was light, airy, spacious and clean.

Reception had a comfortable seating area, there was a café and we were shown both clinical rooms and interview rooms for less intrusive treatment.

Penarth Times: Clinician roomClinician room (Image: Newsquest)

Health board members emphasised the flexibility of these rooms, able to be rearranged and used for a multitude of services.

Penarth Times: Interview roomsInterview rooms (Image: Newsquest)

Cardiff Council representatives also joined us on the tour showing us the “council half” of their Wellbeing Hub.

Here, on offer were council services such as a library, interview rooms, support and advice stations on issues such as council tax, housing and benefits, and there was sports provision – with a sports hall at the end of the building.

Penarth Times: Cafe on siteCafe on site (Image: Newsquest)

Neighbourhood policing is also located on site in the council half of the building as was a youth centre.

Penarth Times: The council service half of the buildingThe council service half of the building (Image: Newsquest)

On the services on offer on the Wellbeing Hub side of the building, as well as GP practices, there could be mental health services, child psychology, midwifery and dietetics.

Health board staff emphasised that Wellbeing Hubs were built tailored to the area they were based in – which would have an affect on services provided.

Penarth Times: Council services were on site in the adjoining building including advice on benefits and council taxCouncil services were on site in the adjoining building including advice on benefits and council tax (Image: Newsquest)

On the effect Maelfa’s hub has had on the area, Cardiff Council’s Rebecca Hooper said: “The idea here is it is integrated for one experience – council and wellbeing. Think of it as a one stop shop for people’s needs in the community.”