Elm Lane Surgery is ideally located for residents living along Elm Lane, a busy street off Barnsley Road. But it is one of four practices being invited to move into a new building near Concorde Leisure Centre, Shiregreen. In total, 15 practices have similar offers in Sheffield as part of a £37 million NHS proposal.
The practices would not change in terms of who the doctors are and their patient lists – but they would be in a new modern building.
NHS officials say the new buildings will be built on publicly owned land, and paid for by taxpayers’ money, rather than using public-private partnership money that was used in some previous health centre projects, under the LIFT programme, which were criticised over costs.
Views on the scheme from nearby residents on Elm Lane itself are mixed. Some are concerned about the distance, some welcome the idea their doctors would have better facilities. It was also suggested the most important thing is being able to see a doctor quickly.
Mum and daughter Lilian and Julie Rayworth, from Shiregreen, both prefer the idea of smaller GP practices – but admitted they could see the benefits.
Of the planned new location, Julie said: “It would be a good thing for us, but I prefer smaller, personal surgeries. It just depends how big it’s going to be.
"It would be a good thing if they can get everything together. But then again, is it then becoming a hospital?”
Elm Lane and Shiregreen
Lilian pointed to the nearby Elm Lane Surgery. “I prefer little ones like this,” she added. “But it will be all right for some people because there are such a lot of people who live on Shiregreen.”
Both agreed that it would be an advantage if it had more facilities.
Terry Dallmore, of Longley, would not welcome the change. He said: “Local doctors know you. Doctors know their patients.”
He said he was worried about having to travel further. "If I have to trek right over there, it’s a bit far to go,” he added.
Tarlochan Singh Rai, of Elm Lane, said the distance did not matter to him.
‘Getting doctors appointment is most important factor’
He said: “Concorde from here is not very far. I know Elm Lane surgery is very, very close, but that's not important. It’s more important how quickly you can get the appointment. It used to be my doctor but I changed, because I had to wait three weeks, and that's not right.”
Rijo Mundasseri, also of Elm Lane, said he thought there may be more facilities, which would be a good thing, but he had concerns over the extra travel.
He added: “When it moves away from here, it may be a little bit further for me, so that may be a bad thing. It's both ways. What will be available in the new surgery, and how it will be useful for me, I don’t have any idea.”