What is happening with the new Putney Primary Care Centre?

back in January it was announced that the Putney Hospital site had officially been chosen but ten months on nothing has changed?

  Associated Articles:

PPCC at Putney Hospital it's official!

Comment from Tony Colman MP

From derelict building to GP supercentre?

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The idea behind the Putney Primary Care Centre was to allow three existing practices to expand their services and their space. These surgeries are Putneymead Medical Centre, Dr Aaron's practice and Balmuir Gardens Surgery ensuring that they could provide effective services for patients, with easy access for those with disabilities.

The Putney PCC will mean that GP care can be conveniently provided alongside services such as physiotherapy, district nursing and a pharmacy and all services will complement those at Queen Mary's Hospital, Roehampton. In addition Wandsworth Primary Care Trust (PCT) believes it will be easier to recruit and retain good staff to a 'flagship' primary care centre.

It is planned to keep surgery premises in central Putney, as satellite accommodation. Commuter clinics could be held there for patients registered with any of the three PCC practices. Patients will still be able to see their 'own' doctor at the Putney PCC but there will be the advantage of a large pool of doctors, for example in an emergency situation

A spokesman for Wandsworth PCT has told us that the current delay has been caused by the question of access to the site; Putney Hospital is surrounded by Putney Common and has no properly protected legal means of access. Access from the public highway is currently only possible by way of two licence agreements granted to Wandsworth Primary Care Trust's predecessor bodies, by the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators, in 1956 and 1957. These licences can be terminated by the Conservators with only six months prior notice.

"If the land was to be sold or redeveloped with its current state of access, the PCT would find it difficult to get best value for money. And it is very unlikely that any commercial developer would want to build the primary care centre and associated residential development, without permanent legal access rights.

We are therefore, left with two options: an application to Parliament by way of a Private Bill, which if successful would give the Conservators powers to grant easements, (permanent access) or the last resort of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO).

Wandsworth PCT has supported the Conservators with their wish for a Private Bill and was delighted to receive notification from them after their June meeting, that their Board had decided to proceed with the application. However, a second vote by the Conservators at the July Board, has overturned this decision. The Board will now not re-consider the Private Bill option again until November 2005. "

This is likely to lead to potential delays with the project, but the Wandsworth PCT still plan to submit a full planning application for the development before the end of the year. They say that they

" hope to reach an amicable agreement with the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators over the necessary access rights, so that the people of Putney can have the first-class primary care centre which they deserve."

November 2, 2004