The final stage in the process for the Brockwell Surgery move was the recent green light from the NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee.
The practice cares for 11,500 patients and is part of Valens Medical Partnership. It will relocate to the ground floor of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s new health and education centre of excellence in the grounds of the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, 2.2 miles from the current surgery.
The centre of excellence, which will be called the Northumbria Health and Care Academy, will be a totally separate building from the hospital and is due to be built by autumn 2023.
Dr Aamir Munir, Executive GP partner, said: “We are delighted with and very much welcome this approval.
“The new practice building is a fit-for-purpose, high-specification, modern healthcare facility which will enable our practice to provide a full range of integrated primary care services and support.
“We will absolutely still be embedded within the community that we serve. Relocating here will mean that we can continue to improve the quality of care we provide our patients, continue to tackle health inequalities and do all we can to ensure the care is tailored to their needs and is as joined up as possible with other services they may require.”
The final decision was made after an independently run six-week engagement process. This enabled patients and all other stakeholders to give their feedback on the relocation in a variety of ways – including via email, online, face-to-face on an individual basis and as part of focus groups or at drop-in sessions.
More than 1,500 people took part in this engagement process.
Dr Munir added: “I appreciate that there were mixed views when we did our patient engagement, but we would like to reassure people that we will do all we can to address any concerns, including providing patient transport for those who need it and ensuring there is enough free parking on site.
“There won’t be any change to, or reduction of, the current services. There will in fact be a better provision as a result of more space.
“Patients registered at Brockwell Surgery don’t have to re-register and when we move contact details and opening hours will remain the same. Patients who are registered at our Seaton Sluice or Seaton Delaval surgeries will see no change to their services and will continue to access services offered at Brockwell at the new site.”
The practice is working with Age UK to identify alternative transport options. This service will be bookable for the time of a patient’s appointment and will be a door-do-door service.
A NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group spokesman said: “We are always pleased to see investment in and improvement of GP services for patients, which in turn improves patient experience and hopefully reduces health inequalities.”
The Brockwell Surgery site is owned by Northumbria Healthcare and options for the future use of the building are currently being reviewed. This includes the possibility of it being used as a community health resource.
Further detailed information about the relocation, including frequently asked questions and the engagement report, is available at www.valensmedical.co.uk/brockwellmove