A DIGITAL health hub – the first of its kind in West Yorkshire – is being launched at the heart of a Keighley estate.

The pioneering facility officially gets up and running today at the Sue Belcher Centre, in Bracken Bank.

People will be able to use the hub to access a wide range of health and wellbeing provision, including making GP appointments.

The initiative is the realisation of a dream for David Weston, vice-chairman of Bracken Bank and District Community Association.

"I used to work at Airedale Hospital and I thought if it can utilise the digital world why not bring that into the community?" he said.

"I'm proud and delighted that the new hub has come to fruition.

"It will help take the strain off doctors' surgeries."

Among those involved in the venture are the Modality Partnership, Keighley Healthy Living and Keighley College.

Sessions are being staged every Thursday, between 1pm and 3pm. Places should be booked by calling 07759 396511.

"People will be seen by a prescriber who will listen to their needs and signpost them to what they require – they may need to see a GP or order a repeat prescription or use another service," said Mr Weston.

"Those who need help with IT skills will be shown how to use the computers so they can access support.

"We're hoping to get tablet computers too that can be used at home by anyone who needs one.

"Anyone who requires help with a health and wellbeing issue can come and see us."

Funding for the venture has been obtained by Keighley Healthy Living.

Once Covid restrictions ease it is also planned to have a cafe. And there will be a fitness suite to help people improve their health.

A similar hub is planned at Highfield Community Centre in the future.

Bill Graham, community and innovation lead at Modality, welcomed the initiative.

He said: "GP services remain free at the point of use for our patients and demand for those services continues to rise year on year.

"Encouraging people to use digital health in the appropriate way can be really helpful for patients to access the help and support they need quickly and efficiently.

"From accessing repeat prescriptions to getting admin help or organising an appointment with a physio, digital services are transforming patient care.

"We want all our patients to be able to benefit so we fully support the innovative approach of the new Keighley digital health hubs and are delighted to be part of the community-based team delivering this support."