Doctors fearful for future healthcare after plan for new surgery rejected

An updated artist's impression of the surgery. Picture: Mendip Vale Medical Practice

An updated artist's impression of the surgery. Picture: Mendip Vale Medical Practice - Credit: Archant

The future of healthcare provision has been questioned after councillors rebuffed plans for a medical surgery.

North Somerset Council’s planning and regulatory committee rejected Mendip Vale Medical Practice’s proposal to build a two-storey surgery between Yatton and Congresbury in Smallway on October 10.

The amended proposals included an uncontrolled pedestrian crossing near a bus stop, which was deemed unsafe.

Cllr David Shopland said the refuge would be ‘absolutely lethal’ as it is located on ‘one of the most dangerous roads in North Somerset’.

Both surgeries are not fit for expansion as they are at full capacity, with Congresbury’s temporarily closed and Yatton needing to spend more than £185,000 to meet modern standards.

There is no room to expand at either surgery and, as more houses are earmarked to be built in Yatton, doctors will be unable to meet increased demand.

MORE: Councillors defer on Mendip Vale surgery decision.

A Mendip Vale spokesman said it is not looking at any alternative sites because its ‘options are limited’.

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Two Mendip Vale GPs, Dr Sam Partridge and Dr Andy Warinton, spoke exclusively to the Mercury to voice their concerns.

Dr Partridge said: “It is clear we will not have two surgeries, all we are trying to do is make sure there is a fit surgery for our patients, nobody has come up with a suitable alternative.

“It is a good site for the population density and we need a modern building similar to the St Georges practice or Pudding Pie Lane surgery in Langford.”

Dr Warinton added: “We need to be able to attract and retain GPs, we have seen young doctors come and look at the Pudding Pie Lane and Yatton surgeries and when they were told they would be working here (Yatton) they have walked away, they do not want to work in a building which they think does not have a future.”

Dr Partridge recognised the problems of the Smallway site which include transport issues and narrow pavements for pedestrians, but he said there is ‘no perfect solution’.

He added: “We really care about our community and patients, we spend our working lives in the NHS and patient care is why we get out of bed in the morning.

“Redeveloping the two surgeries would be money down the drain because it won’t provide a building fit for the next 10 years.”