South Lynn 'needs dedicated surgery before current town practice moves', minister warned
The Government has been urged to intervene over plans to move a Lynn doctors’ surgery to a new site on the edge of the town centre.
A community organisation and a cross-party group of councillors is seeking a dedicated new practice for South Lynn before any proposal to relocate the St James Medical Practice gets the go-ahead.
But the St Margaret’s with St Nicholas Ward Forum is leading calls for the entire provision of GP services in the town to be reviewed.
The group, together with four borough councillors and the former Lynn News editor, Malcolm Powell, has written to the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, to express its concerns.
They are worried that, without a new surgery to serve the South Lynn area, travelling to the new surgery could mean that some who need treatment will not seek help if that does not happen.
The letter said: “We understand NHS East has said that there is land and money available to build a second new surgery to the south.
“We believe that for the good of all, a new surgery must be established as soon as is possible and certainly well before any move of the St James Medical Practice out of the town centre is so much as contemplated.
“If not, St James must stay where it is until the new southern site is ready to be brought into use.”
Practice managers at St James have previously insisted they have no choice but to leave their present premises in County Court Road, as it is unsafe.
Speaking at a county health scrutiny meeting last November, Dr Prabir Mitra, from the practice, said: “We are not moving to a shiny, new building for the sake of it.
“We understand change can be an advantage for some and a disadvantage to others but for the general need of the population, this needs to be done.”
The letter to Mr Hancock said: “We fully accept that the practice wishes to expand and find more modern premises but cast doubt on the wisdom of the move which will require a round trip of six miles, and more for some patients, the elderly, those with mobility issues, mothers with prams and small children and people without cars."
The letter was jointly signed by councillors Lesley Bambridge, Francis Bone, Charles Joyce and Alexandra Kemp.