Super surgery ‘will not become mini poly-clinic’

Posted on September 16, 2009. Filed under: News stories, Polyclinics | Tags: |

This is South Devon | Herald Express | Torbay PCT | 16 September 2009

THE super surgery planned for Clennon Valley will not become a ‘mini hospital’, GPs behind the project have vowed.

Dr Simon Lansdown, of Grosvenor Road surgery in Paignton, told members of the Health Scrutiny Board, that the new Healthy Living Centre would not lose its personal touch.

Dr Lansdown was updating the board on the progress of the scheme which would see two Paignton surgeries in Grosvenor Road and Withycombe Lodge, merge and move onto a single site.

The Clennon Valley proposal, would cater for 8,000 patients and benefit as many as 17,500 NHS users in the Bay a year.

The new centre, which was halted after flooding issues highlighted by the Environment Agency stopped construction in 2007, would include dietitians, dentists, children services, ear specialists as well as community nurses and psychologists.

Dr Lansdown said: “I see the Clennon Valley surgery as a community care building. It’s not a mini hospital. I don’t want to work in a hospital. I like working in a GP surgery.

“I like working in my own surgery so the merger will make things difficult but it will also be easier for staff and patients to nip down the corridor to see another health worker than having to go to Torbay Hospital.

“The Healthy Living Centre will not become a mini polyclinic.”

Board members were told that the facilities, which have to undergo another design process after the possible site was moved from one end of Torbay Leisure Centre’s car park to the other, will include pay-when-you-leave car parking.

Steve Honeywill, of Torbay PCT, said: “The key is that we don’t have empty periods or any bottle necks. We will be able to make an economy of scale while keeping a personalised service.

“The intimacy between doctors and patients will remain.

“What we have to make sure is that the new facility is not underused because it is public money at the end of the day.”

Board members decided that the new project was ‘substantially different’ from that of two years ago.

They asked that before a planning application is filed, a 12-week public consultation is carried out.

Meanwhile the board was also told no suitable site had yet been found for Torquay North Healthy Living Centre.

Sue Bevis, of the PCT, told the board: “The sites we’ve looked have not been big enough or good value enough for money.

“We have decided to go down the procurement route and test the market.

“There may be developers and land owners out there who have a suitable site they would like to see developed.”

Mrs Bevis said a Prior Information Notice (PIN) would be placed in the European Journal of the European Union as well as in the local press.

She said questionnaires had also been received from Cllr Alan Faulkner canvassing the views of patients in the St Marychurch area of Torbay.

The board will be told of any update in November.

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