Fargate or High Street lined up for Sheffield city centre GPs hub as consultation starts on £37million plan

A modern family doctors’ centre could be developed in the heart of Sheffield city centre, according to NHS officials.

Friday, 24th June 2022, 4:37 pm
Updated Friday, 24th June 2022, 4:37 pm

It comes as Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group’s primary care commissioning committee agreed to start formal consultation over plans to develop four Sheffield health centres as part of a £37 million scheme. They would be shared by several practices.

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The additional plans for a city centre health centre are not part of the first consultation as a final decision on its location has not been made.

A modern family doctors’ centre could be developed in the heart of Sheffield city centre, according to NHS officials. PIctured is Mike Speakman, programme director for Sheffield Clinical Commissioning

But Mike Speakman, programme director for Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, revealed the town centre building is expected to be right in the heart of the city centre.

He said: “We are working with Sheffield Council colleagues to identify a city centre site, potentially on the High Street, Fargate area, so very central and highly accessible.

"But as we don’t have a particular site confirmed yet, we don’t have sufficient details to go and confirm in a consultation.”

It is expected to be a refurbishment of an existing building.

A modern family doctors’ centre could be developed in the heart of Sheffield city centre, according to NHS officials. There are plans to spend £37m creating modern surgeries in parts of Sheffield to replace older buildings. Picture shows atists impression of what the new buildings could look like. Picture: Wilmott Dixon

An originally earmarked city centre building was dropped as it would have been too big, after two practices pulled out.

But the committee agreed to start formal consultation over four proposed sites in north east Sheffield, after slight modification to the plans following initial community engagement. Leaflets are to be circulated and community meetings held.

The centres covered by the consultation would be on Spital Street, near Burgreave, for patients at Burngreave Surgery and Sheffield Medical Centre; on Rushby Street, near Fir Vale, for patients at Page Hall and Upwell Street surgeries; at Concord Sports Centre, near Shiregreen, for Dunninc Road Surgery and Shiregreen Surgery; and Wordsworth Avenue, near Parson Cross, for Margetson Surgery, Buchanan Road Surgery and The Healthcare Surgery.

A modern family doctors’ centre could be developed in the heart of Sheffield city centre, according to NHS officials. There are plans to spend £37m creating modern surgeries in parts of Sheffield to replace older buildings. Picture shows atists impression of what the new buildings could look like. Picture: Wilmott Dixon

Committee chairman Claire Nield said she thought it was a fantastic opportunity for investment in some of the city’s poorer areas with diverse communities.

She said: “I feel assured about our consultation process, and learning from the pre-consultation.

"It's an advantage to have this investment in the city.”

The initial consultation, due to start next month, will run for 10 weeks.

A modern family doctors’ centre could be developed in the heart of Sheffield city centre, according to NHS officials. There are plans to spend £37m creating modern surgeries in parts of Sheffield to replace older buildings. Picture shows atists impression of what the new buildings could look like. Picture: Wilmott Dixon

Sheffield Council's health scrutiny sub-committee raised a number of concerns about the plans when they were outlined to its members earlier this week. They included concerns over travel times and travel distances.

It also raised concerns that the scheme did not address problems getting GP appointments. But NHS officials believe the new surgeries may help on that issue by creating more space for visiting clinicians to take some workload off GPs, as well as help with recruitment and retention of staff.

CCG lay member Mark Gamsu said: “It is one-off capital money, not revenue money. We have to up front about the opportunity for funding. It is not revenue money and will not solve other issues about GP funding.”

Trish Edney, from Sheffield Healthwatch, raised the issue of parking. Mr Speakman said new sites were expected to have more parking than older centres, with two spaces per consulting room.

But Sheffield GP and CCG governing body member Dr Amir Afzal warned the areas where the project was planned may have fewer people with cars than more affluent parts of the city, and raised concerns it may mean more requests for home visits.