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Meeting to discuss options for King's Lynn surgery move

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County and borough councillors will take part in a briefing meeting this month to discuss the options for the future of a Lynn surgery.

St James Medical Practice officials and Primary Care Partnership launched an options appraisal last Friday to explore which site is preferred for the relocation.

This process is a requirement in order to be awarded NHS funding, and county councillors from the area will meet this month to discuss the outcome of the appraisal.

St James Medical Practice is set to move to a new location. Picture: Prabir Mitra
St James Medical Practice is set to move to a new location. Picture: Prabir Mitra

Sites have been identified on Edward Benefer Way in recognition that the current County Court Road practice have been limiting the services they can offer to patients.

This includes a lack of parking and wheelchair access.

But West Norfolk county councillor Alex Kemp said it is “now matter of great public concern and accountability”.

St James Medical Practice. Picture: Prabir Mitra
St James Medical Practice. Picture: Prabir Mitra

In a letter seen by the Lynn News she said: “The Primary Care Partnership still appears not to realise that the nub of the matter is the continued sufficiency of continued local access for all the patients who would find it too far to travel to a relocated St James Practice on Edward Benefer Way.

“This is about real people’s lives, not a paper consultation or mere site visit exercise.”

Norlife, a partnership between the private sector and NHS in Norfolk, hosted a presentation meeting with Fairstead Surgery officials last month in which the demand and capacity for surgeries in the area was addressed.

It highlighted “significant constraint” existing in central Lynn at St James and Southgates.

The presentation said: “There is currently inadequate capacity to meet the demand from the proposed housing in the centre and to the south of the town.”

It also addressed no developer contributions associated with the major planning sites at West Winch and North Runcton.

There are hopes that further discussions with the local planning authority could identify other opportunities to address the expected shortfall.

The CCG currently have two business cases submitted to replace St James as well as increasing the size of the Gayton Road surgery.

And regarding the refocussing of a service at Fairstead, Norlife stated: “The current service is not sustainable without investment and a provider able to staff the service.”

Glyn Watkins, chairman of Fairstead surgery’s patient participation group said: “There is a long way to go and nothing as yet has been discussed.

“There is a huge shortage of doctors not only for St James but Southgates as well, so we have to invest big time in King’s Lynn. As for St James, everyone else will have to get in the queue for funds and see what is left.”

Another Norlife meeting is set to take place in October.

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