PLANS to move a doctors surgery have been welcomed by residents after years of discussion.
Proposals are being put forward to relocate Emsworth Surgery, currently in the town centre, north of the town to a new centre in Redlands Grange.
I understand why the practice wants to move towards a new facility rather than converting the old hospital.Brendan Gibb-Gray
Originally, the purpose-built facility was one of two options with the surgery possibly moving into the vacant Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital. But now the preferred option is Redlands Grange.
No formal decision has been made by practice partners and they are calling for patients to give their thoughts.
Dr Abu Chinwala, a GP partner, said: ‘We are committed to improving services for our 13,000 patients and to build for a long-term sustainable future at a time of great uncertainty for many GP practices.
‘We have spent many years exploring the potential of moving to the vacant hospital site. But we now firmly believe the best interests of the vast majority of our patients would be served by moving to Redlands Grange.
‘A new-build would allow us to plan in every facility patients would expect to see in a modern GP practice, rather than having to work within the constraints of an existing building which would require extensive renovation.’
Residents and patients said a move to a new building was the way forward.
Former councillor Brendan Gibb-Gray said: ‘It is quite clear the current surgery is inadequate and that a move was always needed. I understand why the practice wants to move towards a new facility rather than converting the old hospital.
‘I am glad to see plans progressing as it has been happening for many years.’
Ray Cobbett, a fellow resident, went to a meeting about the proposal which had around 150 people attend.
He said: ‘This has been going on for years with surveys and discussions and there’s not really been any progress.
‘I am glad we are nearing a decision because one does need to be made.’
Dr Chinwala said they understood moving away from the town centre could impact on some patients but for others, they would be moving closer.
‘Approximately 8,500 of our 13,000 patients live north of the railway line and are not within walking distance of the existing Emsworth Surgery,’ he said.
‘We understand there are concerns regarding a reduced footfall if we leave the town centre but we do need to carefully consider the needs of our patients.’
A survey is on the practice’s website emsworthsurgery.co.uk with hard copies available at the Emsworth and Westbourne surgeries.