OPTIONS for a new surgery in Emsworth have been whittled down from nine to three.
Residents in the town are being asked to weigh in on the trio in a survey before a business case for a future development is submitted by December 21.
The existing Emsworth Surgery in North Street now has 13,000 people on its books despite being built to take on 2,000 patients.
All three plans being put forward by GPs and the NHS propose a move away from the current site, and are as follows:
- Moving to a refurbished Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital (EVCH) site nearby and possibly retaining a branch practice at Westbourne, subject to affordability
- Moving the surgery to a new replacement building on the site of the EVCH, with both existing buildings being demolished
- Moving to a new building at Redlands Grange, north of the railway line, with existing Emsworth and Westbourne surgeries being sold
To see two of the three plans inclusive of the EVCH is ‘promising’, campaigners have said, but action going forward ‘must be future-proof’.
David Thomas, spokesman for the Emsworth United campaign to save the EVCH, said: ‘The overwhelming community support is for the Victoria Cottage Hospital. It was built by the people of Emsworth, for Emsworth, and has a history of civic pride.’
He added: ‘The most important thing is that we do not get a boring replacement of the existing surgery.
‘What we get needs to be able to cope with growing demand and pressures from housing.’
Emsworth GP Dr Abu Chinwala previously said a 1.2mile move to Redlands Grange would benefit some residents but disadvantage others, with 8,500 of Emsworth Surgery’s patients living north of the railway line.
But proposals put forward now are based on feedback from two public drop-in sessions earlier this month, as well as an ‘options workshop’ attended by community representatives and figures from the South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Sara Tiller, managing director of the CCG, said: ‘We are inviting people to comment through a new survey so this latest feedback can help inform the decision-making process.
‘The three preferred options now need to be fully costed and financially appraised, which we will do through a further workshop with community representatives.
‘The report on Emsworth Surgery’s preferred option must be submitted to NHS England by December 21 to release the necessary capital funding, so the timescales remain tight.’
Mr Thomas added: ‘It is absolutely crucial people engage with this survey, we are coming up to a crunch time.’
Physical copies of the options survey are available from the surgeries in Emsworth and Westbourne and must be returned to either site no later than 5pm on December 5.
However, the deadline to complete the online survey – which is available here – is midnight on December 9.
The CCG said the difference in deadlines is to give staff enough time to process physical responses.