Patients have just had the chance to have a preview of a new £5 million health centre that will transform delivery of services in the Longton area from 2021. Plans were displayed yesterday at a drop in session at St Paul’s Church Hall.
The new Longton South Primary Care Centre will provide GP and other primary care services on a large new-build site off Greendock Street in Longton.
The new health centre which is NHS funded, will replace two existing GP surgeries – Longton Hall Surgery in Longton Hall Road and the Longton branch of Willow Bank Surgery. The two surgeries currently have 12,000 patients, but the new site will be able to accommodate expected growth in the local area.
Practice Manager and Managing Partner Mike Sheldon said: “This is a really exciting development for our patients, for our staff and for NHS services in the south of Stoke-on-Trent.
“This will be a truly modern centre that will be efficient and economical to run, meaning we can really spend more on patient services and less on things like heating and maintenance.
“It will be easier to reach by public transport but also have more car parking, including provision for parking for disabled patients. There will also be an on-site pharmacy.”
The Willow Bank, Longton site has already closed after the landlord served notice on the leased building to make way for retail development.
Mike said: “It means our Longton patients are currently having to travel to our branch at Meir Primary Care Centre, which is a fantastic facility but is not convenient for all of them. I am sure they will welcome being back in Longton.”
The larger health centre means there will also be opportunities to deliver a wider range of services, and it could become a base for more health professionals including specialist Advanced Nurse Practitioners and therapists, and be used for clinical training. The centre could also act as a base for some local voluntary services.
Mike added: “Our staff are excited about the plans for the new site and I think most of them would like to move in tomorrow.”
Dr Lorna Clarson, Clinical Chair of Stoke-on-Trent CCG said: “We are proud to have secured this investment for primary care in Stoke-on-Trent. General practice and wider community care teams are the heart of healthcare for our patients, and this new build will ensure that these services will be delivered from state-of-the-art premises.
“We are delighted to be working with our practices to ensure that the new building will meet the needs of their staff and patients with enough space for them to grow to provide services for our growing and ageing population.”
It is planned for building work to start on the new site in around 12 months time, if planning permission is secured.