Bureaucracy halts plan for surgery’s expansion

Dr Dan Poulter MP at the Barham & Claydon Surgery Jan 2016

Dr Dan Poulter MP at the Barham & Claydon Surgery Jan 2016

Expansion plans for a rural Suffolk medical centre have ground to a halt after hitting a wall of NHS bureaucracy.

MP Dr Dan Poulter has now intervened to help push forward the process for the Barham and Claydon Surgery.

The surgery has been based in a portable building in Barham for around 20 years but due to new housing in the area it has recently seen a 38% increase in patient numbers, with 2,500 people now registered.

Before Christmas the surgery had been given the green light to expand its facilities thanks to £60,000 of infrastructure money that came from building new homes in Great Blakenham.

However, when Dr Poulter visited the surgery on Friday, he was told that the expansion had been delayed due to a change in procedure which means it now has to be rubber-stamped by NHS property services.

“It’s important for an area of growing population where there is an increasing demand for medical services that the surgery is supported and providing more for patients,” said Dr Poulter, who is also an NHS hospital doctor.

“I have now written to the regional director of property services asking him to speed up the process because it’s taken a long time to get to this point and now we are hitting this bureaucracy barrier which is very frustrating to me, the surgery staff and patients.”

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Dr Poulter said the expansion is just the first stage of improvement plans for the surgery, with an eye to building a completely new centre for the residents of Claydon, Barham and Great Blakenham within the next five years.

This new surgery may also include a dentist practice as well as providing outpatient services which people can currently only get from a hospital.