GP surgeries could move into state-of-the-art new facility
PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 October 2011 | UPDATED: 09:33 07 October 2011
TWO doctors' surgeries in Weston may move in together to create a new, state-of-the-art medical centre.
Both Longton Grove and New Court surgeries are planning to move into a former office building in Locking Road in a move that would create better facilities for staff and patients and provide parking.
Although the two surgeries would remain independent of each other, they would co-own the building, and share modern equipment in a move that could come to fruition within the next two years.
The managers of both practices say their current surgeries have equipment and facilities which have become inadequate, and are hopeful a planning application can be submitted to North Somerset Council within the next two months.
They currently share 16,373 registered patients, and a new building may see a children’s area, physiotherapy, counselling, massage and minor surgery units and better access for disabled patients.
Both Longton Grove, where 18 staff are employed, and New Court, which has 29 members of staff, say they do not have enough space to employ further staff.
Doctor John Heather, one of the GPs at New Court who has been instrumental in the proposed move, said: “I think it is going to be brilliant, it is long overdue.
“Both ourselves and Longton Grove have had moves on the card for a while as our facilities were good a few decades ago but are a bit out-of-date now.
“This would be a good move as it would allow us better facilities, like a lift for example, and also allow us to become a training practice, which would mean new GPs could be trained here and having new doctors can only be a good thing for people in Weston.”
Weston town councillor Mike Lyall said of the plans: “On the whole I think this is a very good idea. The only concern I have is that people may not be able to get to the new surgery as easily as they used to, as it is almost a mile to the new site from the current surgeries to the site and walking that might be a bit of a problem for some people.”
Chris Edwards, the practice manager at Longton Grove, said: “This will give the people of Weston much better medical facilities that will be up to the standard of modern medical practices.
“We believe all our patients will be much better off because of this move which will see both surgeries share state-of-the-art equipment while retaining their own identities, and we will try to come to arrangements with those who may find it difficult to get to the new site.”