People living in the Kirkham and Wesham areas are being asked to have their say on proposals for a state-of-the-art new health centre.
Local NHS bosses have worked with doctors in the area to come up with proposals for the new health facility.
The proposal would see part of the administration offices at Wesham Park Hospital in Derby Road demolished to make way for a new primary care centre that would house two individual GP practices – Kirkham Health Centre and Ash Tree House – and services currently run at Kirkham Clinic.
The building, which is under a mile from the current practices, could also host a pharmacy and other community services as part of the CCG’s plans to bring more services into community settings. Under the proposal, the practices would continue to operate separately, and patients would remain registered at their current practice. The doctors, nurses and other practice staff would not change.
The plans for the new health centre will be on display over the coming weeks at both GP practices and Kirkham Clinic, as well as at Morrisons in Poulton Street, Kirkham, and Kirkham Library in Station Road. Brochures will be available which contain space for people to leave feedback in writing if they wish.
Public meetings, where the plans will be outlined fully and residents will have a chance to comment, will take place at:
- Lower Lane Community Centre, Auster Crescent, Freckleton, PR4 1JL on Monday 17 July, from noon to 2pm;
- St Michael’s Church, Church Street, Kirkham, PR4 2SE, on Thursday 20 July, from noon to 2pm;
- Christ Church, Garstang Road North, Wesham, PR4 3DE, on Thursday 20 July, from 6pm to 8pm.
Dr Tony Naughton, clinical chief officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This new facility would provide a holistic approach to healthcare that focuses not just on people’s physical health but also how mental and social factors affect them.
“It also means people in the area could access healthcare provision on one site in the local community with access to a broader range of community-based health services.
“In addition, there would be space for different health and care teams to be located together to make sure services are more joined-up in a patient-friendly environment with modern facilities fit for the 21st-century.”
An added benefit to patients would be car parking, where 140 spaces would be available for people using the facility – almost double what is currently on offer.
Dr Stephen Hardwick from Kirkham Health Centre said: “The building that is Kirkham Health Centre is reaching the end of its useful life. With increasing numbers of patients plus the expansion in the number and range of staff we employ, we are increasingly short of clinical rooms and parking spaces.
“In the future, GP surgeries, community staff and social care staff are going to have to work closer together to meet the needs of a growing and ageing local population, so we are excited at the prospect of a new custom-built local health centre that will help this, with a better environment for patients and staff, better parking and the opportunity to draw together services to meet the future needs of all our patients.”
Ash Tree House GP Dr Jon Brown said: “Ash Tree House has been the much-loved setting of our medical services for approximately 30 years but is sadly no longer able to be extended. We want to provide a wealth of services to our patients but are unable to do so to our full ability due to lack of space. Therefore the move to a purpose built-medical centre, we feel, is the best option for our patients.
“We want to be a hub for health care, a centre of excellence, and retain services in Kirkham and Wesham rather than patients having to travel outside of the town to have their health needs met.”