Reading surgery could close

A branch surgery in part of Reading could close as part of a redevelopment of the area.

Residents in Calcot are being asked what they'd like to happen to their local surgery as part of a redevelopment of the area.

Bellway Homes has recently bought the site of the Underwood Road precinct in Calcot, and plans to build 70 homes and redevelop the shopping centre.

The site being developed includes the branch surgery at Underwood Road (linked to the Abbey Medical Centre on Russell Street), and the NHS Berkshire West Primary Care Trust is running a consultation over whether or not local people would like a small GP surgery in its place.

After careful consideration the PCT has decided that its would be better not to include a surgery in the development of the Underwood Road site, but they need to hear your opinions too.

A Few Questions and Answers from the NHS:

1. What is happening?
Bellway Homes has recently bought the site of the Underwood Road precinct. It plans to redevelop the area, providing 70 homes and a shopping centre. NHS Berkshire West Primary Care Trust (the PCT) needs to consider whether it would agree to the
replacement of the current branch surgery with a small GP surgery as part of the new development

2. What is the PCT’s view and why?
After careful consideration the PCT has decided that its preferred option is not to support the inclusion of a small surgery in the development of the Underwood Road site.

The PCT considered supporting a small surgery as a replacement for the current Underwood Road surgery and balanced this against what we know will be the challenges in the future for local GP practices.

In the near future, GPs will be buying care on their patients’ behalf and taking responsibility for the funding for the wider population’s health. They will need to provide even more services at their surgeries to keep people well and out of hospital. The PCT believes that larger practices are better placed to do this. We expect to see a change in practice size in future with less single handed and small practices and more medium to large practices.

A large proportion of people living in the area are registered at other practices with 9,000 registered at either Circuit Lane or Theale Medical Centre. Both of these practices have said that they would welcome any patients currently registered at Underwood Road who do not wish to travel to the Abbey Medical Centre at Russell Street. Circuit Lane is one mile away from Underwood Road and Royal Avenue,
which is the branch surgery of Theale Medical Centre, is 1.8 miles away.

3. What are the opening hours of Underwood Road branch surgery and when is a GP available?
The Underwood Road branch surgery is open for 16.5 hours a week with a GP available to see patients for 8.5 hours.

4. How many people will be affected?
Of the total 2,666 patients registered with the Abbey Medical Centre at Russell Street approximately 520 patients attend the Underwood Road branch surgery.

5. What options do patients have?
If there is to be no new surgery at Underwood Road, patients can continue to be registered at the Abbey Medical Centre at Russell Street and attend that surgery. If they do not wish to travel to Russell Street they can register at either Circuit Lane or
the Theale Practice or they can register at other local GP practices which cover their area.

6. Will the Circuit Lane practice and the Theale Medical Centre be able to accommodate any of these patients who wish to register with them?
Both Circuit Lane and Theale Medical Centre are very happy to accept any of the patients currently registered at Underwood Road, who choose not to travel to Abbey Medical Centre at Russell Street. Circuit Lane has plans to significantly improve its facilities in the medium term. The Theale Medical Centre offers a number of services at both Theale Medical
Centre and the Royal Avenue branch surgery and they have confirmed that patient requirements at both surgeries are reviewed on a regular basis in order to ensure that services reflect their needs and the overall care of the community.

7. Have any firm decisions been made?
No, a firm decision has yet to be made pending this consultation.

8. How long do people have to give their views?
You have until 4th October to get back to us either by coming along to one of our drop-in sessions, emailing, or by writing to us or calling.
Email: ppiteam@berkshire.nhs.uk
Phone: Tabitha Isom on 0118 982 2926
Visit our website: www.berkshirewest-pct.nhs.uk
Write to: Tabitha Isom, NHS Berkshire West, 57-59 Bath Road Reading RG30 2B A

9. What happens then?
After talking to you and hearing your views and any specific suggestions, all feedback will be discussed by Practice Based Commissioning Leads (GPs who work with the PCT to plan future healthcare) and the PCT Trust Board by the end of October 2010. We will then communicate to you the decision made.

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