A public consultation over plans to invest millions in building up to four new GP health centres launches today (1 August 2022).
Sheffield has been given £37m to improve primary care buildings in the city. As part of this, four new health centres could be built by the end of 2023.
NHS South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board is consulting on behalf of nine GP practices that are proposing to move into one of the new buildings in early 2024.
Currently, each practice has its own building. If the construction of the health centres goes ahead, GP practices will move, along with some other health services on site. This means GPs’ existing buildings would close if they moved into the new ones. Practices won’t merge, they will remain independent practices and patients will see the same GP and nurses, and receive the same personalised care as they do now.
Dr Zak McMurray, Medical Director for Sheffield, NHS South Yorkshire ICB said, “Even though this consultation is about building new health centres, it is more than just being about bricks and mortar. This is an opportunity to provide services in a better way”.
“The city needs more clinical staff, more accessible and higher quality services, and better premises and technology. There is a chronic shortage of GPs in the UK and a growing population in Sheffield.
“The new health centres will help us attract more staff and do more for patients on one site, increasing access to services and improving people’s health. The health centres may have talking therapies, blood testing, physiotherapy, and other health services on site.
“No decision has been made. The final decision might be that we build anywhere between one, two, three, or four centres, or if the plans aren’t right for patients and practices, we might not build any. A real option is that practices stay as they are.
“Before we make a decision in December, we want to hear from as many people as possible. Please share your views with us – the positive and any concerns”.
The practices proposing to move to a new health centre are:
- Burngreave Surgery and Sheffield Medical Centre to Spital Street, S3 (next to Sheffield Medical Centre).
- Page Hall Medical Centre and Upwell Street Surgery to Rushby Street, S4.
- Firth Park Surgery and Shiregreen Medical Centre to Concord Sports Centre, S5.
- The Health Care Surgery, Buchanan Road Surgery, Margetson Surgery to Buchanan Road / Wordsworth Avenue, S5.
Dr Josh Meek, GP at Firth Park Surgery, said: “We haven’t had any new funding to develop GP buildings for many years in these areas and this investment has the potential to benefit more than 50,000 patients.
“These proposals have been developed by local GPs, assisted by commissioners who helped us with the bid for government funding and pre-consultation engagement where more than 2,000 people gave their views.
“These modern, energy efficient buildings would be much more spacious – giving practices room to grow and hopefully offer more services on site. We also hope it will help attract new GPs into these areas.
“The new buildings would also generate around £140,000 savings on running costs a year which would be reinvested in services locally.”
We know some people are worried about the potential move, but the proposed new locations are between 0 miles (adjacent to existing GP practice) and 1.2 miles away from the current locations. For some patients the proposed locations are nearer their homes, whilst for others it is a little further. The average distance from patient’s homes to the new locations is 0.1 miles (175yds).
Local people can have their say in several ways:
- Fill in an online survey on the ICB website https://southyorkshire.icb.nhs.uk/get-involved/public-consultations.
- Answer questions in a telephone survey, carried out by an independent research company called SMSR.
- Call or drop in to speak to one of our local community partners. They will also be visiting local groups and venues in their areas.
- Attend one of many public meetings, see https://southyorkshire.icb.nhs.uk/get-involved/public-consultations.
- People can also email firstname.lastname@example.org
As GP practices are so busy helping patients, please do not contact them directly about the plans.
The consultation runs until 9 October 2022. NHS South Yorkshire ICB will make a final decision on proposals in December 2022. If approved, construction would be complete by Christmas 2023. GPs and new patients would start using the new buildings in early 2024.
See the video below where Dr Meek explains why the new health centres are needed.