We advised you last year of an opportunity for South Street Surgery to relocate to NHS-owned, newly-refurbished premises at the Herts and Essex Community Hospital (HEH). We are pleased to say this project has been approved and we should be moving from South Street in early 2021. This project will provide improved facilities that are more accessible to wheelchair users, people with prams and pushchairs and those with poor mobility.
The project does not however provide the capacity required to deliver services for our expanding population.
The proposal to move to Stortford Fields includes brand new, purpose-built surgery in an area with a rapidly expanding population, and would tie in with the project to redevelop the hospital as a primary care hub. It is acknowledged that the HEH development alone is not sufficient to meet the needs of the practice current list and growing population and therefore there needs to be additional provision of primary health care services.
The new premises are designed to accommodate the forecast expansion in patient numbers. There is significant development in the north of the town at Stortford Fields. The Bishops Park branch currently serves this part of the town and we are already seeing an increase in registrations. A surgery at Stortford Fields would enable us to better meet the needs of the growing population in this area of the town.
There are a number of challenges with the current premises; the building was adapted approximately 20 years ago with additional rooms being created from the original large open waiting room area with stud walls. The walls are very thin and music needs to be played to prevent consultations from being overheard from the waiting rooms, and the modifications affect drainage for these rooms. The stairs to the upstairs consulting rooms are very steep and inaccessible for those with mobility problems and children. The building is not suitable for redevelopment.
For the reasons, the Partners believe that moving would be in the interest of patients and service provision for the future.
If the move went ahead, it would:
- improve facilities for South Street registered patients with all clinic rooms accessible
- give the opportunity to widen the range of services we can offer to existing and new patients
- allow patients to access on-site car parking
- provide meeting room space for meetings of patient groups and group consultations delivered by the practice and other providers
- mean that services will still be accessible for existing patients who used the Bishops Park site
Our Patient Participation Group supports our ambition to relocate and has been involved in early discussions about this proposal. If we move ahead with these proposals, work on our new surgery could start in 2020 with the aim of them being ready to use at the end of 2021.
The business case has been approved by the NHS East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, the organisation which commissions GP services in our area and will be presented to NHS England this Spring. An application for planning permission has been made as part of the Western Neighbourhood Centre.
We want to hear your questions about the plans (available below and at the surgery, or by request if you’re not able to get to the surgery before the deadline date for responses) because you may have some views about specific elements of the facilities and have some suggestions of your own. For example:
- What do you think of the proposals for the new premises?
- Are there any small adjustment which you think might improve patients’ experiences?
- Do you have any other concerns about our proposals?
You can email views to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to South Street Surgery, 83 South Street, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts, CM23 3AP, United Kingdom. The deadline for you to share your views about the plans is 31st March 2020.
You can also find out more at one of the following drop-in sessions for patients to be held at Bishops Park Surgery:
- Wednesday 4th March – 2pm-4pm
- Tuesday 10th March – 6pm-8pm
We look forward to hearing from you.
Dr Dixon and Dr Calisir
Managing Partners South Street Surgery