HUCKNALL: Housing plans are a ‘major challenge’

Top Wighay Farm development site.
Top Wighay Farm development site.
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Large-scale housing plans for the Hucknall area are posing a major challenge for doctors’ surgeries in the town, a meeting was told this week.

Statistics show big rises in the number of appointments which the GP surgeries are estimated to face as a result of the anticipated developments.

The well-attended ‘Better Health for Hucknall’ meeting was held at the John Godber Centre on Hucknall’s Ogle Street. Kathryn Sanderson, who chaired the meeting, said: “Action groups are trying their level best to get reductions in the number of proposed new homes.

“But we know we will get some and our aim should be to fight for the best possible health facilities for Hucknall under the circumstances.”

A total of 1,300 proposed new homes at Top Wighay Farm and north of Papplewick Lane would be on the Gedling borough side of the border with Hucknall.

“But it is logical that people living in the new homes there would want to use the doctors’ surgeries in Hucknall rather than travel all the way to Arnold,” said Kathryn.

Claims were made that Hucknall desperately needed a new surgery and it was thought that the former Dowty Mining Equipment site on Watnall Road would make an ideal location.

The meeting was told that a site was originally earmarked for a surgery near Hucknall’s Tesco Express superstore and it was very disappointing that this had not materialised.

In answer to criticisms about a lack of feedback from the ‘Better Health’ meetings, Kathryn said: “It takes a reasonable time to get things to happen.

“Our role is to listen to patients’ views and pass them on to a steering group and GPs for them to take action. We are not a decision-making group, although we want to influence decisions.”

Coun John Wilmott, a Hucknall Labour member of Ashfield District Council and Notts County Council, thought much more partnership working was needed, looking at what was needed in the community.

It was reported at the meeting that four GP practices in Hucknall had responded to questions raised by patients.

On the issue of people having to wait up to four weeks to see a named doctor, they had stressed that a GP was available the same day for urgent care.

Jim Radburn, chairman of the Carers in Hucknall group, said: “This proves that the doctors are listening. We can move on but it will not happen straight away.”

Margaret Kerr, of the Whyburn Patients Participation Group, said social care, including health visitors, could take some of the pressure off doctors. GPs are due to be represented at a further meeting of the group later this year.