- c 1969 (Creation)
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Monkgate Health Centre (or Health Services Centre) was opened for operation in August 1968 (the official opening was on 21 March 1969). It was the first Health Centre opened in the City of York under Section 21 of the National Health Service Act 1946. Health Centres under the Act differed from existing local authority clinics and health centres because they housed not only local authority staff and health services but also general practitioners. Thus, GPs, health visitors, home nurses, midwives and others worked as a team to provide a more integrated primary care service for the community.
Monkgate Health Centre took over and added to the services which had from 1948 to 1968 been provided by York Corporation at Duncombe Place Health Centre, which was consequently closed. Monkgate became the central city Health Centre, and it existed alongside a number of other old-style health centres and clinics scattered through the city and its suburbs.
The premises at Monkgate had formerly been home to the Grey Coat School. In 1960 York City Council decided to purchase the building for the Health and Education Committees with the long term plan of using it to site a combined Health Centre and School and Dental Clinic. The School Clinic occupied the building from 1961. The opening of the Health Centre in 1968 was the second part of the scheme and the accommodation thus provided a basis for an integrated maternity and child health and school health service.
The services based at Monkgate Health Centre in 1968 included health visiting, domiciliary midwifery, home nursing, home help and infant welfare services. There were two general practitioner suites, and accommodation was also provided for cytology, immunisation clinics and family planning clinics. The centre served an area of about one mile in radius with a population of about 20,000.
After the opening of Monkgate Health Centre, plans were made for the opening of other Health Centres (as defined by the 1946 NHS Act) in York's suburbs. The first of these, Clifton Health Centre at Water Lane, Clifton, was opened in 1972, converted from the pre-existing health centre there.
Mongate Health Hentre was run by York Corporation until NHS reorganisation in 1974, when all the personal health services, including clinics and health centres, which had previously been managed by local authorities, became part of the NHS and were managed along with hospital services by the new Health Authorities. Within North Yorkshire Area Health Authority, York Health District inherited a number of clinics and health centres, not just in York but also in the surrounding area. A very few of these were Health Centres as defined by the 1946 NHS Act: Monkgate Health Centre and Clifton Health Centres in York; Easingwold Health Centre, opened in 1971 by the North Riding County Council; Haxby and Wigginton Health Centre, planned by North Riding County Council from the late 1960s, which was under construction in 1974 and opened late in that year; and Poppleton Health Centre, formerly in the West Riding. In 1979, Strensall Health Centre was opened, and since then, more Health Centres have been established, for example, Clementhorpe Health Centre in York, and Acomb Health Centre at Beech Grove. These are part of a larger number of clinics and health centres which have been run since 1974 by York Health District (to 1982), York Health Authority (1982-92) and York Health Services NHS Trust (from 1992).
Monkgate Health Centre continues to fulfil its role as a Health Centre today. In addition, it has, since 1974 fulfilled the role of HQ of NHS Community Services With changes in the NHS ongoing in 1999, and the establishment of Primary Care Groups (eventually to become Primary Care Trusts), health centres and clinics will be managed by these new bodies in the future, alongside a range of primary care and GP services.
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