NHS Wandsworth Board Opts For Eileen Lecky Clinic Site
for Community Services but still no sites identified for relocation Putney GP practices
Wandsworth NHS have informed us that the three Putney GP practices, Balmuir Gardens, Disraeli Road and Putney Medical Centre should be located at a central Putney site, with community services remaining at the Eileen Lecky Clinic, NHS Wandsworth Board decided at its meeting on Wednesday 30 September 2009. This will ensure that the new GP premises meet NHS Wandsworth's long-term goal of placing services in easily accessible locations, so that its investments benefit as many local residents as possible. They also believe that this will mean the GP's move could be complete well within the original project timescale, of March 2011 as refurbishment will be far speedier than a new build.
In June 2009, NHS Wandsworth agreed to reconsider proposals to construct a three storey primary care centre on the old Putney Hospital site. While mainly due to the current financial climate and possible reductions in future funding, major healthcare improvements in the area and proposals to increase services at Queen Mary's Hospital, Roehampton, have also been contributing factors.
Placing the GP practices under one roof, whilst continuing to provide services from the Eileen Lecky Clinic, came out top in a detailed assessment of possible options. It also scored significantly higher than the second preferred option, of constructing a smaller scale development for GPs on the Hospital site.
Over the last 12 weeks, a designated project team has assessed a number of options, looking at the benefits, risks, implementation time and value for money of each. These options were discussed with various stakeholder groups and their views taken into account, before the team rated each one to find the most beneficial solution for Putney.
GPs are considering suitable existing commercial properties and once contracts are exchanged, refurbishment is expected to take between six and 12 months. As GPs move towards securing accommodation, work will need to be carried out to decide the future of the hospital site.
More improvements are also on the way for the Eileen Lecky Clinic, which recently underwent some building works making it Disability Discrimination Act ( DDA) compliant and strengthening infection control. This, in conjunction with the further investment now planned, will allow NHS Wandsworth to make better use of the space and provide patients with a comfortable environment for the provision of 21st century care.
Ann Radmore, Chief Executive, said: “The clear evaluation of each of the possible options shows we were right to re-examine our plans for Putney. The position we are in today, is very different from where we were in 2007. While this change of direction is frustrating, we now know that the NHS will not escape the effects of the financial downturn, therefore it is essential that those tasked with managing healthcare locally have the foresight and flexibility to make the tough and controversial decisions which will result in appropriate and affordable solutions, whilst allowing us to continue providing services equitably across the borough.”
On hearing the Board's decision, Putneymead GP, Sarah North said: “Finding GP accommodation has always been NHS Wandsworth's priority. GPs have been heavily involved in agreeing the preferred option, so I'm glad NHS Wandsworth is supportive of this, as I know it is the right one for Putney residents. We will continue negotiating with landlords to lease accommodation centrally which meets the needs of our patients and work closely with NHS Wandsworth to implement the Board's decision as quickly as possible.”
October 9, 2009