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'Significant' need for new GP surgeries in King's Lynn, health chiefs admit



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Health chiefs have admitted there is a “significant” need for new GP provision in Lynn, but insist they are developing plans to address the problem.

Potential locations for a new practice in the south of the town are expected to be examined over the coming weeks.

But a town councillor has claimed patients are being “let down” by the delay in bringing forward firm proposals.

Plans for how, and where, to provide new GP cover in Lynn will be examined over the coming weeks, officials say.
Plans for how, and where, to provide new GP cover in Lynn will be examined over the coming weeks, officials say.

Bosses of the Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have come under growing pressure in recent months, following the submission of formal plans for the relocation of the St James Medical Practice.

Managers there hope to be treating patients from a new £5 million facility off Edward Benefer Way from late 2022.

But that remains subject to planning permission. West Norfolk Council officials yesterday said the scheme is expected to be debated at a committee meeting on November 8.

An artist's impression of the proposed replacement for the St James Medical Practice.
An artist's impression of the proposed replacement for the St James Medical Practice.

Critics of the St James proposal are worried that some patients living in South Lynn and surrounding villages could go without treatment altogether unless a new proposal is brought forward.

A letter submitted by the Lynn Civic Society to West Norfolk Council has warned it is “essential that a new surgery is provided for South Lynn and villages further south at the earliest possible opportunity” if the St James application is allowed to proceed.

But borough and county councillor Alexandra Kemp says she fears such a plan will not be in place because of delays in proposals being brought forward.

She said: “The CCG have let down the Lynn public. There is a risk there will be no replacement surgery in the town centre by the time St James moves, if at all.”

Alexandra Kemp.
Alexandra Kemp.

But a CCG statement said alternatives, together with a business case for the project, are due to be examined at a meeting of its governing body on November 23.

The group said: “The CCG is supportive of the need for a new surgery building in the south of King’s Lynn.

“A review of future primary care demand and capacity was carried out and King’s Lynn was identified as an area of significant need for primary care capacity.

“As well as the CCG being supportive of the proposed St James Medical Centre new build, discussions are underway for a new primary care building to meet the need from housing developments to the south of the town.

“A formal business case is required, and is being developed.”

Communications seen by the Lynn News suggest a stakeholder meeting scheduled for last Tuesday to review shortlisted options was postponed at short notice in order to ensure “commercial confidentiality as discussions are now proceeding.”



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