Calls for a ‘super surgery’ to improve healthcare in Hucknall

UNDER ONE ROOF -- the Riverside centre at Bulwell which houses nearly all of the town's GP surgeries, as well as other community services.
UNDER ONE ROOF -- the Riverside centre at Bulwell which houses nearly all of the town's GP surgeries, as well as other community services.

Calls have been made for a new ‘super surgery’ to be built in Hucknall to improve the quality of NHS care in the town.

All doctors’ practices would come under one roof in a similar way to the Riverside centre in Bulwell.

The idea was raised at a meeting of Hucknall First Community Forum (HFCF), the new organisation launched by former Ashfield Labour councillors, John Wilmott and Trevor Locke.

“People said it was time Hucknall had a ‘super surgery’ where every kind of problem can be tackled,” said Coun Wilmott, who is still a member of Notts County Council. “It should open seven days a week and appoint more medical staff, if necessary.

“We have a population of 30,000, which is going to grow with all the new houses set to be built. So it is essential that people get the possible service. The view at the meeting was that if Bulwell can have one, why can’t Hucknall?”

Riverside, which also houses other community services, a library and play centre, has been a huge success since it opened three years ago.

It cost £22 million, but Coun Wilmott feels that an equivalent in Hucknall would save money in the long term because it would more efficient than the current set-up.

That set-up comprises four GP practices spread around the town -- Whyburn on Curtis Street, Torkard Hill on Farleys Lane, Oakenhall on Bolsover Street and The OM Surgery on Watnall Road. It is understood that all value their independence and that none are at full capacity with regard to the number of patients on their registers.

Hucknall’s NHS services are the responsibility of the Nottingham North and East Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The CCG’s director of operations, Hazel Buchanan, told the Dispatch that surgeries are willing to work together to “ensure that high-quality healthcare is available to every Hucknall resident”. But there were no plans to unite in a ‘super practice’.

In a statement, issued in reponse to the HFCF calls, Mrs Buchanan said:

“There are currently no plans for the town’s existing GP practices to unite under one roof as a ‘super practice’. However, there has been an ongoing dialogue between Hucknall residents, the CCG, NHS England and the Hucknall practices about the future growth of the town and the impact that could have on the demands on local healthcare provision.

“As a result of these discussions, which have been patient-led, all the practices are examining how they can work together to ensure that high-quality, accessible healthcare is available to every Hucknall resident. They are looking at how they can collaborate on projects to enable greater working flexibility and to extend services.

“We are all committed to providing a high quality of care to patients in the area. In the long term, we know the practices want to see more services provided in Hucknall that meet the needs of the population, such as more urgent care provision, as well as more joined-up care with the voluntary sector to support the elderly, and we support this aim.”

The issue will be discussed again at the next HFCF meeting at the John Godber Centre on Wednesday 5th August (7 pm).