Will your GP surgery move?
Local health boss, Andrew Pike, has told doctors in Hockley that he wants to create a large ‘polyclinic’ to provide medical services for the Rayleigh/ Hockley/Hawkwell /Ashingdon /Rochford area. He plans to have this open by 2012 on the vacant plot of ground opposite the cemetery in Hockley Road, Rayleigh. This could mean GPs from surgeries across the district moving to the new site, as well as other health services.
This is a significant change to previous plans which envisaged two separate clinics covering Rayleigh and Hockley/Rochford. Patients and doctors alike have previously raised concerns about GP services having to move but the new plans are likely to upset everyone in the area, apart from the lucky few living close to the proposed site. Access will be particularly difficult for people without cars as there is a very limited bus service.
Doctors have been told that they will not be forced to move to the new clinic but fear they will have no choice as they will be starved of funds with priority going to the new centre.
The revised proposal seems to taken Mr Pike’s staff in the Primary Care Trust (PCT) by surprise but the PCT will be coming to Hockley Residents Association’s next meeting on 10 June at 8:00pm in Kilnfield House, Hockley (adjacent to the station ticket office) to explain. Everyone welcome to attend.
We certainly want to see better medical facilities for our district – and at the moment the plans are still vague. We’ve heard unofficially that the sort of clinics that the PCT are proposing normally have separate reception areas for each GP practice – so they would retain their own identity. But there could be some kind of 24-hour service there as well- a kind of mini “casualty” department, plus better facilities on site for various tests. So facilities could be very good.
Even if these facilities are superb , are we really going to expect Hawkwell people to travel to Rayleigh to see their GP? And should we think about adopting what they do at Russian polyclinics -instead of having a separate reception for each GP practice, have one reception for adults, one for healthy children and another for sick children?
At the moment it’s not clear what the proposals really mean. So it might be worth going along to this meeting -even if you don’t live in Hockley.