A WESTHOUGHTON health centre has received praise from the shadow cabinet after a major overhaul.

Winnifred Kettle, in Washacre Lane, was visited by the shadow secretary of state for health, Jonathan Ashworth MP, who celebrated the practice as “an example of health and social care done right”.

The centre, named after the first female chairman of Westhoughton Urban District Council, has recently undergone a huge refurbishment to transform it into an integrated neighbourhood hub ­— spearheaded by councillors Linda Thomas and David Chadwich.

A host of provisions delivered by Bolton NHS Foundation Trust are now available in the same place in Westhoughton for the first time.

Winifred Kettle is now home to a health visitors, midwives and midwives, and the centre offers a range of health and social care services from physiotherapy and podiatry to speech and language therapy.

It also boasts an out-of-hours GP service and treatment rooms to give residents access to clinical assessments.

It is hoped that by bringing services together at the heart of Westhoughton, the centre will increase residents’ access to care and reduce A&E visits due to untreated problems.

Mr Ashworth said: “I’m incredibly impressed with the Winifred Kettle Health and Care Centre in Westhoughton. This is exactly the type of integrated care and health services we need more of. Well done to the Labour Bolton Council working with local health bosses for making it happen.”

During his visit to Bolton, Mr Ashworth also promised to reinstate nurses' bursaries and legislate to “remove the current barriers to full integration of health and social care”, if he becomes the health secretary in the future.

The visit of the shadow health minster had been arranged by Labour’s candidate for Bolton West Julie Hilling to exhibit and celebrate the work done by the various groups at the Winifred Kettle Centre and to quiz him on Labour’s future strategy on health and social care.

Ms Hilling said: “We invited Jonathan Ashworth as we wanted to show him how the council, health and voluntary sectors working together can make a real difference.”

She added: “I was delighted to bring Labour’s lead for health to our area to see the difference Bolton Council is making in the face of vicious government cuts to our services.”