Health care revamp set for Woodbridge

SURGERIES in Woodbridge, facing the prospect of looking after another 800 patients, are being urged to work together to improve the town's health care.

SURGERIES in Woodbridge, facing the prospect of looking after another 800 patients, are being urged to work together to improve the town's health care.

Doctors want to create a one-stop health shop featuring a wide range of medical services and provide a modern centre for the riverside town.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of pounds needs to be spent to improve and expand surgeries throughout the area to enable GPs and nursing staff to cope.

It was hoped the Woodbridge project could be provided as part of the redevelopment of the Notcutts site, but planning permission for the scheme has been refused.

A new surgery will be built as part of the town centre New Street area redevelopment but it is not clear if it will be big enough to put all of the town's medical services under one roof.

In a report to the Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust board, chief executive Ana Selby said doctors at both the Little St John Street and Framfield House practices should join forces to agree the best solution for the town.

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Between them the surgeries look after more than 15,000 patients and are set to inherit 800 more as the houses at Rendlesham are built.

Ms Selby said: "The proposals appear to meet the needs for Woodbridge and should be pursued by either or both the Woodbridge practices working together with the PCT and local authority."

If it could be achieved, the one-stop health shop would include a GP practice, district nurses, health visitors, baby clinics and midwife, physiotherapist, podiatrist, pharmacy and voluntary service.

Nurse-led and consultant hospital out-patient clinics would be held for dermatology, rheumatology and respiratory conditions, plus diagnostic services such as glaucoma monitoring and lung conditions.

There could also be an out of hours service for the town based at the centre.

Meanwhile, other surgeries in the area are in need of costly work to increase their accommodation and allow them to provide extra services.

Alderton Surgery, which looks after 5,700 patients, is too small and needs replacing – and the long-term solution could be to develop a single new health centre in Hollesley.

The Birches Medical Centre at Kesgrave needs two extra consulting rooms, and Wickham Market Health Centre wants to expand into its loft for admin staff to free space downstairs for doctors.

Martlesham Heath Surgery is now seeking alternative premises because it is unable to accommodate all the services which wish to work out of the centre.

It had considered a single-storey extension on land at the side of its building to add two more consulting rooms and ensure the district nurses could continue to work at the centre, but needed funding and approval from landlords.

n What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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