Update on plans for four new Sheffield health centres to replace nine city GP practices
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In March, the Treasury awarded £57.5m funding to South Yorkshire to improve primary care buildings in the region. Of this, £37m was allocated to Sheffield. As a result, NHS South Yorkshire launched a public consultation over the plans to build new GP health centres in Sheffield in August.Most of the money is set to build four new health centres in Sheffield to replace 12 GP practice buildings which are part of nine practices. If the plans go ahead, it will mean the practice moving into a new building shared with other GP practices. Funding is in place to build five new health centres but the fifth has not been finalised.
An NHS South Yorkshire report on the plans is being discussed by the city council’s health scrutiny sub-committee on Wednesday (November 23).
Under the current proposals, Burngreave Surgery and Sheffield Medical Centre would move to a shared centre in Spital Street, Burngreave and the Cornerstone Building on Burngreave Road and Herries Road Surgery would close. Page Hall Medical Centre and Upwell Street Surgery would move to a new centre in Rushby Street, Fir Vale.
‘Chronic shortage of GPs’
Firth Park Surgery and Shiregreen Medical Centre would move to a site at Concord Sports Centre and Melrose Surgery on Burngreave Road would close. The Health Care Surgery, Buchanan Road Surgery and Margetson Surgery in the Parson Cross area would all move to a new centre on Buchanan Road/Wordsworth Avenue.
The report to the committee noted: “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.“We hope building new health centres will attract more clinical staff as doctors and nurses want to work in modern, more spacious buildings and will have room to train other staff. We believe the best way to support people and improve their health is to bring services together and wrap them around patients in these new health centres, keeping them well, independent and out of hospital.”
The report adds that some surgeries are more than 50 years old and many are too cramped to benefit from advances in healthcare and technology.
“Waiting rooms are cramped, they lack enough consultation rooms and space for other services which could help improve people’s health,” the report says. “The new health centres will do more for patients on one site, increasing access to services and ultimately improving people’s health.”
More than 5,000 people took part in a public consultation project about the plans earlier this year. Some practices have withdrawn as a result of feedback from their patients.
Following talks with the nine interested practices, a draft plan will be drawn up in December and a final decision made by the board of NHS South Yorkshire on Wednesday, January 4 about which, if any, practices will go ahead with a move.