In response to Mr Stone’s letter (Lynn News, March 18), St James Medical Practice has a Patient Participation Group.
During our recent meeting the proposed practice move was discussed in detail. It is agreed that, as Mr Stone points out, the practice cannot grow on its present site. There is an urgent requirement for the provision of medical services to develop, to support the expansion of the town. St James is keen to play its part in meeting these future needs. Our meeting was told that many options to meet this need have been considered. Primarily, a larger premises will be key and a number of potential sites were looked at. The conclusion of this work is that the Kilhams Way location is considered to represent the best option to secure a new building that is of sufficient size, specifically designed for its purpose, energy-efficient and economical to operate. It will enable the practice to develop its services and provide its patients with the quality and range of services needed in the future.
As indicated through a number of patient surveys, the lack of parking at the present surgery is considered by many to be a significant issue. The new location will enable the practice to offer adequate parking spaces that will address these concerns. The practice team is conscious of the fact that, although the new-build premises option offers significant benefits, there are patients that will find it more difficult to get to the new site. It is intended that these concerns will be taken into account to determine whether actions can be taken to overcome any disadvantages of the move. It should be emphasised that the project is at a very early stage and, during the process, there will be a public consultation stage that will enable all interested parties to put forward any concerns that they may have. Whilst some concerns were expressed at our meeting, it was my feeling that, on balance, the group were broadly supportive of the plan and could see that the benefits to patients offered by the move will outweigh the disadvantages, if the project comes to fruition.
Ian Gutteridge, Chair, St James Patient Participation Group