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Olympic Gold medallist officially opens Aberdeen Health Village

05/08/14

Katherine Grainger CBE, Britain's most successful international female rower, has officially opened the Aberdeen Community Health and Care Village.

Katherine Grainger CBE with Lord Provost George Adam and some of the NHS partners. The Health Village, in Frederick Street, opened on 10 December 2013 and provides a range of diagnostic and treatment services as well as advice and opportunities to remain healthy, well, and independent, for the people of Aberdeen and elsewhere in Grampian.

NHS Grampian integrated working includes the healthpoint and carers' point services, which are delivered with Aberdeen City Council and partners from the voluntary sector.

Ms Grainger met staff and service users during a tour of the facility, starting with a demonstration of Technogym equipment designed for older people and the healthpoint and carerspoint services where anyone can get practical advice on many health and care issues, such as fitness, diet, smoking cessation and support for carers. She went on to meet staff from services including physiotherapy, cardiac rehabilitation, podiatry, X-ray, minor surgery, sexual health, Police Scotland's rape crisis team , and dentistry. She also took part in a chair-based exercise session for older people organised by Aberdeen City Council.

The Health Village hosts a programme of events to encourage mental and physical wellbeing, including free lunchtime concerts, craft making sessions, and activities to promote active ageing – some of Aberdeen City Council's very popular Golden Games were held in the Health Village in June. It also features a learning suite for teaching and training by NHS Grampian, partners and local groups, and through its videoconference equipment extends education across Grampian.

Ms Grainger completed her visit by unveiling a plaque to mark the official opening and she received a bouquet from Eileen Freeman, who leads regular craft sessions at the Health Village to encourage social inclusion, and sharing skills.

Ms Grainger said: "It's fantastic to see and hear examples at the Health Village of people being supported to remain healthy and live independently. I've always been aware of the importance of good health, but sometimes people just don't have that opportunity. Here at the Health Village everyone has access to an impressive range of supportive services in a lovely environment and I am sure these will prove very popular and successful. I wish the team every success."

Heather Kelman, general manager of Aberdeen City Community Health Partnership said: "We are delighted that Katherine Grainger, who embodies fitness and success, has opened our Health Village.

"We are very proud of our health and wellbeing services and our bright and friendly setting here in Frederick Street. More than 2,000 people visit in a week, which includes those who come for diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, social activities, advice on their role as a carer or just for a cup of tea in our cafe.

"We have around 500 staff, from those who are based here permanently to those who come in to deliver a clinic or class. Services have been brought under one roof from a number of buildings across the city and this has created a productive environment for supporting patients with needs involving several specialist areas. We are focused on wellbeing and staff can give patients 'social prescriptions', so they can discuss activities such as walking groups and other non-medical, life-enhancing opportunities, with healthpoint staff here, so folk can live as well and as independently as possible."

Aberdeen City Council leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: "The Community Health and Care Village is an innovative and inspiring facility and a very significant asset in the city centre. It is providing great support for people to stay fit, healthy and active in their own communities and complements the substantial work which the City Council is also doing in this field.

"I am proud that Aberdeen City Council was able to work with NHS Grampian and other partners to help to create the health village and I am sure that it will make a huge difference to the many thousands of people who will pass through its doors to take advantage of its diagnostic and treatment services."

Assistant Chief Constable Campbell Thomson said: "The Forensic Medical Examination Suite is the first of its kind built within in an NHS hub in Scotland. The Suite has been specifically designed for carrying out forensic examinations of male and female adult victims of serious sexual crime in the north of Scotland.

"Having the Suite located in a modern health facility away from a police building is ideal as it enables victims of serious sexual crime to receive the health, welfare and emotional support they require. The welfare of victims is paramount to Police Scotland and this new facility is already helping to enhance our joint approach. We are committed to working with partners to increase public confidence and most importantly support victims."