Efforts to calm health centre fears
HEALTH bosses and doctors have united to try and calm fears about plans for a new health centre to replace surgeries in two villages.Tendring Primary Care Trust wants to build a state-of-the-art health centre on an industrial estate in Kennedy Way, Clacton, to replace four surgeries in Holland-on-Sea and Great Clacton.
HEALTH bosses and doctors have united to try and calm fears about plans for a new health centre to replace surgeries in two villages.
Tendring Primary Care Trust wants to build a state-of-the-art health centre on an industrial estate in Kennedy Way, Clacton, to replace four surgeries in Holland-on-Sea and Great Clacton.
But last week Tendring District Council rejected the plans for the new health centre, led by Roy Smith, who said the proposed site was inappropriate due to lack of public transport and distance and traffic issues.
GPs involved in transferring to the new centre said they feel the move is imperative if healthcare services in the area are not to suffer.
Dr Amanda Stewart said: "I am bitterly disappointed and frustrated that this scheme has been stalled. It is widely known that our building is inadequate and not suitable for future development.
"It will not be able to provide the extra services required by the NHS and we will not be able to recruit the extra staff need to provide those services.
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"The PCThas done everything in its power to find an acceptable solution. Our building will be sold imminently and there is no guarantee from the PCT that it will be able to find us alternative accommodation in Holland-on-Sea which could mean greater inconvenience for staff and patients alike."
Dr Abdul-Karim Gblastressed the need for opponents of the scheme to think very carefully about the implications of their opposition.
"My concern is that if we keep battling among ourselves, we may end up losing the funding and this wonderful opportunity we have been given to make major improvements to local healthcare provision."
PCT chief executive Paul Unsworth said the trust would do all it could to address the concerns of councillors while it considered re-submitting the planning application.
"It is clear from last week's planning meeting that we have not yet allayed fears over accessibility to the Kennedy Way site. However, the fact remains that if we are to avert a serious deterioration in healthcare provision in the Great Clacton and Holland-on-Sea area, we must find an alternative to the current situation."
He warned GPs would leave if a new surgery is not built.
Mr Smith said: "I thoroughly agree with the principle. I want to see better health facilities to meet the needs of the future. This centre should be built in relation to the population and the communities' needs."
He added: "I think if people pay for services for 50 years they ought to have a choice and say in the way things are going to be delivered. When GPs complain and criticise the patients they really should try to meet the needs of patients and work hard together."
The new health centre would include an expanded range of services, including mental health, district nursing, health visiting, podiatry and minor operations.