Concerns patients not being heard over new Wolverhampton medical centre plans

Worried patients fears they will have to catch two buses to see their GP when a purpose built medical centre replaces two Wolverhampton surgeries.

Artist impression of proposed new medical centre in Bushbury. Photo: Primary Secondary Design
Artist impression of proposed new medical centre in Bushbury. Photo: Primary Secondary Design

Plans have been submitted to Wolverhampton Council planners to create a facility on open space of Northwood Park Road which would house Prestbury Medical Practice, currently on Prestwood Road West in Wednesfield, and Bushbury Medical Centre in Hellier Road.

The Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group approved the business case in August and said the existing surgeries were at full capacity with appointments difficult to obtain.

But, during the consultation, Wednesfield patients raised concerns about the distance they would have to travel.

Bushbury North Conservative councillor Andrew McNeil said he believed “patients voices were not being heard”.

The new practice will house 20 consulting and examination rooms, three treatment rooms, GP training rooms, central and private waiting areas, and more than 60 car parking spaces. If approved, the opening hours will be 8.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am to 12.30pm on a Saturday.

A summary of the public consultation said: “Respondents clearly understand and appreciate the need for a new, purpose-built GP surgery with many fully supporting the proposal.

“Equally there were respondents concerned about the new location being further for them to travel to along with the loss of green space.

“People are excited by the prospect of being able to access a modern and purpose-built medical facility with patients.

“They are also in favour of the opportunity a new building proposes in the delivery in healthcare and the potential for the accessibility of wider treatments.

“Patients are also acutely aware that the accessibility of appointments is currently poor on occasion and a new purpose-built Medical Centre will provide the vital improvements needed.

“Some patients were concerned about the distance of the new surgery and that they may be removed from the list if they are too far, these patients were reassured that this would not happen.

“Patients also voiced concerns regarding public transport as the new site may mean some patients have to catch two buses.

“Parking was also a concern and patients wanted to be reassured that there would be enough parking. This accessibility point was also coupled with concerns regarding access to the building to ensure that there would be lifts and disabled access.

“Some patients were reluctant to lose the green space which the proposed building would be sit on.”

In the application, they said: “This proposed application presents as a unique opportunity to deliver a purpose-built Medical Centre which will future proof the practice and allow the practice to deliver services which will be beneficial to the local and wider community.

“Combining both existing practices into one represents value for money for the NHS as their current Medical Centres are not sustainable and at capacity.

“The Medical Centre is well located and easily accessible for both patients and staff due to the established public transport and sufficient level of parking which is proportionate to the patient list and building.”

But Councillor McNeil said he shared the residents concerns raised during the consultation.

He said: “Whilst increased services are to be welcomed, we need to recognise that residents elsewhere in the city, such as Wednesfield, are losing out due to this move.

“Having attended a CCG consultation, I’m left thinking patients voices have not been heard.

“Residents of Bushbury North are, in the main, against these plans due to the loss of the valued green space at Broadway Green and the associated traffic and congestion that this will bring.”

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