Fears surgery will have to turn away patients if extension plans are rejected
PUBLISHED: 05:30 04 September 2020
A doctors surgery in west Suffolk could be forced to de-register 1,500 patients if planning permission an extension is not granted following objections.
Stanton Surgery has been using a portable building for around a third of consultations since their secondary site in Hopton closed in 2017.
CCG funding has been secured to build a permanent extension on the site to replace the “stop gap solution” but an objection from the parish council could delay the process and put the future of project in jeopardy.
The funding must be used by March 2021, while the temporary permission for the portable building expires in October, meaning the surgery is now under pressure to resolve the issue.
Stanton Parish Council objected to the application due to concerns about the influx of traffic in the area if it is built.
Senior Partner Dr Nick Redman, who has worked at the surgery for 14 years, said: “We were assured we could get planning permission for the extension and we did look at moving but the costs were prohibitive. The parish council has jeopardised the funding for the extension.”
He said if permission is not granted and they lose the use of the temporary building the surgery will have to make some tough decisions.
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“We will have to close our patient list to new registrations. We will also face de-registering 1,500 patients as we will lose a third of our consultation space.
“We would also have to reduce clinician hours accordingly as we simply won’t have space to operate.”
The consultee response from the council cited concerns that increased capacity at the surgery would bring an increase in traffic.
It said: “Firstly, the Parish Council wish to make it clear that they fully support Stanton Surgery and the service that they are supplying to residents of the village.
“For some time, council has frequently received complaints from residents in the area of the surgery who are impacted by visitors to the surgery.
“Not only are there reports of parking on footpaths and dropped kerbs in both Parkside and The Chase, but the junction itself which is very close to the surgery is impeded by poor visibility. “
A parish council meeting is being held on Thursday, September 10, and the application is likely to be discussed.
The final decision rests with West Suffolk Council.