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Task force to assess new ‘super surgeries’ GP plan in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 05:30 29 October 2018

The Two Rivers Medical Centre in Ipswich is an exmaple of one of the primary care hubs being developed in town Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Two Rivers Medical Centre in Ipswich is an exmaple of one of the primary care hubs being developed in town Picture: GREGG BROWN

A task force has been formed to assess the impact a series of new ‘super surgeries’ planned for Ipswich will have on GP provision.

Sheila Handley said the plan raised questions which needed to be looked at Picture: JASON NOBLESheila Handley said the plan raised questions which needed to be looked at Picture: JASON NOBLE

Details unveiled by Suffolk’s health scrutiny committee earlier this month revealed that Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) was working alongside Ipswich Borough Council to create five hubs across town, where GP practices could unite.

It is understood they would operate in a similar way to the Two Rivers Medical Centre, which was formed as a merger of the Lattice Barn and Woodbridge Road practices.

Health bosses say the hubs will reduce costs, make communication between different health services better and offer more services such as minor surgery that would prevent people going to hospital.

Ipswich Borough Council’s scrutiny committee has now formed a task group to monitor the planned changes.

Borough councillor Sheila Handley said: “At the moment, provision across the town is quite varied – some have little GPs, some have a health centre.

“We discovered there are already proposals put forward by the CCG for Ipswich for five hubs across the town.

It raises a lot of questions in terms of what will happen in the changeover, what services will be provided, where they will be and whether they will be spread equally across the town.

“That’s why this proposal has come forward.”

The task group will go away and speak with healthcare professionals involved to gather evidence, before returning to the committee for a full debate on the plans.

Ipswich Borough Council has already confirmed as the local planning authority and landowner to be a landlord for the developments.

It is not yet clear where the hubs will be, although it is understood one will be on the former Tooks Bakery site where houses are being developed.

A CCG spokesman said: “Ipswich Borough Council is an important partner and is working with the CCG and Suffolk Primary Care on the development of the Took’s Bakery site in north Ipswich.

“Although still in development, the plans would see the Deben Road and Chesterfield Drive surgeries, together with a pharmacy, come under one roof, with the potential to deliver real improvements to local residents’ health and wellbeing.

“The plans will be considered at the CCG’s Governing Body meeting in November.”

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