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Campaign for a GP surgery in Forest Hill ward
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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #1
05-10-2010 02:54 PM

I see this is on the agenda for the FH ward assembly on 16 October. A new one on me; does anyone know the background?

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michael


Posts: 3,228
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
05-10-2010 04:16 PM

It is something I proposed in the last ward assembly and directly to all of the Forest Hill Councillors.

There is currently no GP surgery in Forest Hill Ward, making parts of the ward further than 0.5miles from a GP, and further from a GP than almost all other populated areas of London, and in some places (around Honor Oak Road) no direct bus routes to the nearest surgery in Southwark.

This is the link to the density of GP surgeries on London.

Page 7, figure 5b and d

In figure 5b Forest Hill has the lowest density on the map. The only other areas in Inner London with a similar density are Richmond Park, Dulwich Wood, Wormwood Scrubs, the Thames barrier, Buckingham Palace, Hampstead Heath.

In figure 5d Forest Hill is the only pink patch in Inner London other than the heart of the City.

I think this is proof that we are lacking sufficient GP practices in Forest Hill ward.

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roz


Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
05-10-2010 04:41 PM

I agree entirely but wonder how this could happen with the current spending review weeks away. I'm still bemused about the forced closing of the New Cross walk in centre only a few years after it opened. This must have cost millions to set up and now the benefit has been lost.

Could we please add pharmacies to that list as the only one around for miles is Boots and thats not accessible to everyone. The only others I am aware of are Rickmans at the Jenner and the one near the Herne Tavern on Forest Hill Road.
If we campaign for a surgery it might be worthwhile requesting adequate site provision for a dispensing pharmacy.
We do potentially have all these people moving into the Tyson Road development so clearly there will be a need!

It would be good also to start identifying suitable sites. There are vacant commercial premises on London Road which have access to parking ( Sainsbury car park) , ground floor wheelchair access etc, and good access to public transport networks. From my professional experience I'm aware of examples elsewhere in London of surgeries combined with other services such as childrens centres, Team Around the Child/child protection/youth services centres hence enabling cross funding streams to support the revenue costs.

One other option would be to increase the capacity of the Jenner by adding another story or building into/over the car park.

The of course there is Louise House- that old chestnut!

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michael


Posts: 3,228
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #4
05-10-2010 04:58 PM

I notice that the Jehovah's Witness Hall on David's Road is for rent and the gym that is a couple of doors away may also be a potential location. A new practice would need to be in the centre of Forest Hill and I personally think that Louise House is a bit too close to Wells Park Practice and would need substantial investment to convert to a GP surgery (not a cheap endevour even in the best economic climate). But if Louise House was a possibility then I would be in favour of this and the benefit of using the building for community use between the library and pool might work well.

I used the walk in centre in New Cross. Very nice, but nobody knew anything that was happening in the building and I would far prefer to go to a local GP for most services. The closure of the walk in centre makes the need for local GPs stronger.

Before a couple of sites in David's Road became more likely, I did have a thought about converting the ambulance station to a GP practice (benefit is that it is already owned by the NHS) and I don't see why ambulances should not operate out of the fire station or the old council depot in Willow Way (I knew it would come in handy one day!)

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NewForester


Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #5
05-10-2010 06:40 PM

michael wrote:
I notice that the Jehovah's Witness Hall on David's Road is for rent

I believe that it's the Freehold for sale, rather than the JW moving out.

As for the gym (at 15 Davids Road), it has planning permission (Ref DC/08/68497/X 07/07/08) for

Quote:
The construction of a new floor of accommodation on top of the existing building at 15 David's Road SE23 and the change of use of the first floor of the existing gymnasium to residential and conversion of the top two floors of the resultant building to provide 3 one-bedroom flats on the first floor and 2 one-bedroom flats on the top floor.


This would leave the ground floor available for a GP Surgery, but would it be big enough? It's quite small.

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Satchers


Posts: 262
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #6
05-10-2010 07:45 PM

In relation to Michael's comment I have always thought it is a really good thing for Forest Hill that we have the Ambulance station in the centre and would suggest we try and keep it. Although the only time I've ever called one it came very fast from Bromley!

I think though that looking for a building that is already in 'public' ownership (Council/PCT etc) is the most likely? Ideally something that is not fully used or that might have space in it?

There did used to be funding from PCT's for new health centres/Doctors surgeries but I understand that this no longer exists?

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #7
05-10-2010 08:49 PM

I believe that in the olden days a doctor could decide that s/he wanted to practice in a particular location and then, having got clearance from the (now defunct) Medical Practices Committee, buy the premises(with a mortgage in most cases) and enter into a contract with the then equivalent of the PCT to provide general medical services. Nowadays I have always assumed that in most if not all cases it is the PCT's (if anyone's) role to provide the surgery/health centre and then to look for doctors to staff it.

Whether in practice this is likely to happen in the current climate is a different matter. In any case, the fact that one has to travel half a mile or so to the surgery is, does not in itself mean, I expect the PCT would tell us, that FH needs more doctors.

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SEN


Posts: 58
Joined: Oct 2010
Post: #8
16-10-2010 08:21 AM

Robin, I'm not sure things are that different these days. GPs are still (generally) independent businesses, not NHS trusts, thought the premises may belong to PCT. They have a contract with PCTs who might, if there were concerns about poor health outcomes in an area without a GP, try to set one up. Doubt that SE23 is Lewisham's biggest health blackspot, though I don't know for sure. But the writing's on the wall for PCTs, they'll be gone by 2013 and in many cases before. GPs are going to be in charge of much of the commissioning work, so they and new agencies created by the government would take up this issue in future.

If there are any GPs with tired old surgeries in the area, perhaps lobby them (and PCT if it's their building) to move?

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NewForester


Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #9
16-12-2010 02:29 PM

I stand corrected. Apparently the JW have purchased the old Barnados home on Brockley Rise, so they may be moving out of Davids Road.

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