New health village plan unveiled
DOCTORS at a north Essex surgery serving more than 11,000 people yesterday unveiled plans to create a new health village.The main surgery occupied by Dr Geldard and Partners in Vicarage Lane, Walton, has 11,300 patients on its books, eight GPs and 38 staff.
DOCTORS at a north Essex surgery serving more than 11,000 people yesterday unveiled plans to create a new health village.
The main surgery occupied by Dr Geldard and Partners in Vicarage Lane, Walton, has 11,300 patients on its books, eight GPs and 38 staff.
But the practice has run out of room and staff are operating out of every conceivable space.
As a result, the medical team at the practice now wants to move to a new home and plans to create a major medical centre in the town.
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Dr Jonathan Geldard, whose surgery has satellite branches in Frinton and Kirby Cross, said: “We have extended our main Walton surgery to its limits.
“We have some ambitious plans to provide a wider and improved range of services.
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“We are very fortunate to have doctors here with specialist interests and experience including sexual health and ear, nose and throat.
“They are very capable of offering more to patients but they can't do so within our existing limited space.
“We have a vision of a health centre-type development where our staff could be complemented by a pharmacy, dentists, social services staff and other clinic-type services perhaps run by Tendring Primary Care Trust - almost a health village.”
Discussions are under way between the surgery and Tendring District Council about possible sites and support from Tendring Primary Care Trust is actively being sought.
The views of patients and the public at large will also be sought once firm proposals are put together.
Dr Geldard added: “All our staff are enthusiastically behind our plans because they are fully aware of the limitations of the current premises in Vicarage Lane. They realise we can offer so much more given the space.”
Nurse practitioner Wendy Mitchell said: “We are working in somewhat cramped conditions now. A number of patients have mentioned we could do with more space and we have to agree with them. It's very frustrating because we know, as a team, that we can offer so much more.”
Mick Page, regeneration portfolio holder at Tendring District Council said: “We are co-operating on this project at an early stage with a view to assisting in improving health facilities in the locality as part of our key strategic partnership role in the community."
The Vicarage Lane surgery was opened in 1980 and has been extended on three occasions. The Kirby Cross branch surgery was opened in 1990 and the branch surgery at The Triangle in Frinton was added in 2003.