New surgery boost for town

Pock surgery
Pock surgery

PLANS to build a new £3.3 million GP surgery in Pocklington have been approved in principle by the NHS, the Post can reveal.

The business case for a state-of-the-art development has impressed health officials and could see the present surgery on Barmby Road moved to a 7,000 sqm site on West Green.

Market Weighton’s plans to move from Londesborough Road to Holme Road were also given the thumbs up by the authority.

A spokesperson for the NHS said: “The NHS East Riding of Yorkshire Board has approved, in principle, the outline business cases for new GP developments at Pocklington and Market Weighton.

“Both developments demonstrate a move to premises that are fit for purpose and the practices are looking to offer a wider range of services in the community.

“The full business cases will need to demonstrate good value for money and how the proposals will meet the future needs of the local population. The board supported these proposals as strategic priorities for primary care estate development, but has stressed that the full business cases would still have to be considered in context with other priorities and resources available at the appropriate time.”

Pocklington’ practice and business manager Berni Judge said they were delighted with the news and hope the scheme, which could be self financed by the practice, can be delivered within three years.

She said: “This is something that we been working on for the last eight years and this is the most positive news we have ever received regarding the plans for a new premises.

“Although we now have to submit a full business case and there is still a lot of work to do before we can receive full approval from the appropriate authorities, we still see this as being a very positive step and are looking forward to involving all our staff, the patients and the local community in this.

“The news has come at an extremely timely moment as we feel that any further increase in residential accommodation within the area will put a huge strain on the practice unless the accommodation can be improved.”

Indeed, the local development framework set out by East Riding Council proposes that 1,164 new homes will be built in and around Pocklington in the coming years and could mean 2,560 more patients.

The assessment of the current medical practice states that improvements have been made to the building and facilities over the years, but further work was no longer viable. Most notably, the building requires an elevator to meet the requirements of the disability act, but the fabric and structure prevents this.

The current waiting room and reception is described as inadequate, there is little scope to increase the number of consulting rooms, and the dispensary’s first floor positioning presents logistical problems for staff, patients and deliveries. The report suggests a modern facility would enable the practice to deliver high-quality services, which could possibly include a minor injury unit, endoscopies and physiotherapy. Other possible services could be podiatry, optometry, x-rays, and mobile diagnostics.

The proposed site is on land at Groves Farm, on West Green, almost opposite the existing playing field and will form part of a new proposed development to include a new access road, new homes and recreation facilities.

Meanwhile, the assessment has proved a boost for Market Weighton’s hopes of building their surgery.

They revealed ambitious plans to relocate several years ago, and provisional planning permission was given in March 2010.

But earlier this year the Post reported the frustrations of those involved, who said there was a lack of progress.

Market Weighton’s new surgery is part of a joint plan to which will see 325 new homes and a new roundabout built in the Holme Road area.