Patients face two-mile journey to see GP under Wolverhampton surgery merger plan

Concerns have been raised about plans to merge two health centres in Wolverhampton by closing the existing surgeries and building a new facility on green space.

Prestbury Medical Centre.
Prestbury Medical Centre.

Patients at Prestbury Medical Practice, near Wednesfield, would have to travel more than two miles to the new surgery which has been earmarked for a patch of land on Broadway, next to Northwood Park in Bushbury.

Bushbury Medical Centre, on nearby Hellier Road, would also close under the plans, with the two surgeries to be brought together at the new building.

Patients who stand to be affected by the merger are being asked for their views on the plan, which has been labelled "ill-considered" by Bushbury councillor Andrew McNeil.

As well as the inconvenience for patients having to travel from the Prestwood Road area, who he said would "lose out", he is unhappy about the loss of the green space on Broadway and fears the new surgery will create traffic and parking problems.

Health bosses say Prestbury Medical Practice is no longer fit for purpose after being "red rated" in 2019 and that a more modern facility is badly needed for patients.

They said 13 different sites were considered but the Bushbury site was judged to be the "most deliverable and appropriate". A virtual meeting on the proposals is being held on Tuesday at 5.30pm.

Councillor McNeil said: “While I am in favour of improved GP services this plan is ill-considered.

“We’re seeing two practices a relatively good distance apart merged and the local community, who won’t overly benefit, losing a much-valued green space. Adding to this will be the additional parking and traffic problems in an area which already has high demand for parking due to the popular Broadway shops and new housing development.

“Existing patients of the Prestbury Road Medical Practice are now going to have to travel over to Bushbury North to see their GP which for many will not be suitable.

“I fear that both patients and local residents are going to lose out and as such I am seeking urgent talks with both the Council and CCG to find a way forward.”

Prestbury Medical Practice said on its website: "In 2019 our building in Prestbury Road West was audited by the NHS and “red rated”. This means it is no longer fit for purpose.

"We also need more space and modern premises to provide the best possible care for our patients including meeting infection control requirements.

"The new building will provide a lot more space and on site parking for patients with good access to bus routes.

"The NHS has approved our initial business case as the project will address their concerns and allow us to support the way the NHS is changing."

Sarb Basi, director of primary care for Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "Prestbury Medical Practice is currently engaging with its patients on options for how it provides medical services to local people, and we are supporting them with this process."

Details on the virtual meeting are available at newprestburymedicalpractice.co.uk/consu

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