The Surgery in Horndean has for some time been looking to move into bigger premises to offer a better and more services. With the planned housing between now and 2028 this need is also a key priority to plan for. EHDC and the Surgery in the past identified this need and the current Havant Road Development was earmarked as a site, but when Gales Brewery was closed and plans for development came forward, this was thought to be a better option with its village centre location, especially as there was no interest in the Havant Road site at the time.
The planning permission for the Gales site made provision for this new building and an innovative agreement to fund the construction and space using developers contributions was set up to ensure this could happen. This has taken longer to conclude, and a key problem has been that the original developer who secured the planning permission at the Gales Site, Burton Properties, could not make the scheme stack up when the care home provider who went bust pulled out. This is how Linden Homes then came on board.
The key message is that a new surgery is coming and below is a Question and Answer session with Dr Coombe, the Director of the practice, that gives the latest information. Dr Coombe if you did not know, started his career in the Royal Army Medical Corp where he served with Distinction under fire.
What is the anticipated date for signing with Linden Homes?
The next meeting is 19 November, there is considerable legal work to complete but we would hope to achieve this by the end of this year or early 2015.
What is the anticipated date for moving in?
Once EHDC have final agreement of the ‘detail of the deal’ and the legal documentation is completed and signed it will take 4 months to fit out the building to surgery standard. Realistically Summer 2015.
How much bigger is the new surgery?
The new surgery is about 3 times the size. The current building 150m2 and was built in 1968 for 800 patients. The new surgery will be 450m2 and built to cope with our current 5000 patients and the new residents in all the various developments locally.
Do you plan to bring in more services?
Absolutely, we will be able to offer space for community NHS services like visiting consultant specialists, a wider variety and more frequent chronic disease management clinics including asthma, diabetes, heart disease, COPD, dementia, mental health and leg ulcer dressings. We will also have space for complementary services like physio, chiropractor, acupuncture, chiropody etc.
Will you have more GPs?
Currently we have no plans to increase GP numbers (it is worth pointing out that there is a recruitment crisis in GP). This would change if our numbers increase by more than 1000 patients in which case we can make the job desirable for other GPs to want to join us. We will however have the space to change our working practices which will increase the number of routine GP appointments.
Will the new surgery be able to cope with the forecast new housing for example Land East Of Horndean if this is approved?
In the current site absolutely not however in the New building we should be able to guarantee a surgery in the village for the foreseeable future.
If patients in nearby surgeries wish to move across can they?
Patients have the right to register with the Surgery of their choice.
Will the pharmacy remain in the spar?
No we would hope that the pharmacy will be under the same roof especially as a close working relationship between the surgery and the village pharmacist can only improve and enhance patient services. We would also hope to offer wider services – Blood pressure monitoring, prescription reviews, weight loss clinics etc in conjunction with the pharmacist.
Is it likely to be a surgery linden deal or surgery, linden, EHDC deal?
EHDC will be parenting and overseeing the deal but the final legal agreement will be between the surgery and Linden homes.
I know the planning process was stressful but is there a positive note about Julia Mansis’ (EHDC Planning Case Officer) work to help get the plans through?
Yes EHDC have always wanted a new surgery in the village. It is all about local services for local people with our ageing population who need local medical support and our increasing population. At a time of funding crisis in the NHS there would not be a future for a surgery in the village without the support of local residents, EHDC and in particular all the hard work of Julia Mansi, Julia Potter, Chris Fairhead and Guy Shepherd. Despite all the bureaucracy Guy has literally dragged the process to the very promising position we are today. (Note by Guy, Several other people also deserve a mention. Derek Chard for raising the slow progress with the developer as a concern, Lynn Evans at HPC for supporting this at meetings and with Officers at EHDC and other members of the team at East Hants. Mark Carrington, a new member of the Linden Homes team, also made this a key priority of his when he joined them)
Do you have a few quotes about the next 6 months and how you see the surgery developing in the future?
To ask the patients to be patient. They have waited a long time for a new surgery because with out their support this would have never happened. We have struggled for many years in very poor conditions but the staff have worked over and above to keep it going. Despite great adversity in the last 5 years overall our patient feedback is outstanding and we are recognized as one of the leading training practices in UK. With new facilities we hope to provide something really special without losing the small surgery friendly atmosphere.