St Neots super surgery plans branded 'absolute madness' by town councillor

CONTROVERSIAL plans to temporarily house St Neots super surgery in a town centre location have been described as absolute madness by a town councillor. St Neots Town Councillor, Barry Chapman told The Hunts Post NHS Cambridgeshire had ignored the views

CONTROVERSIAL plans to temporarily house St Neots' super-surgery in a town centre location have been described as "absolute madness" by a town councillor.

St Neots Town Councillor, Barry Chapman told The Hunts Post NHS Cambridgeshire had ignored the views of the town council.

Cllr Chapman said: "Everyone wanted this surgery to be located a least a mile from the town centre. That was the unanimous opinion expressed by the town council. To ignore those views is absolute madness."

Malling Health, which won the contract to run the health centre, has submitted a planning application to Huntingdonshire District Council to change the use of the former Roseby's store in Moores Walk from retail to health care.

The plans show that three consultation rooms will be located on the ground floor of the two-storey premises.

Cllr Chapman continued: "Obviously, it is better to have a health centre than not, as long as it doesn't mean sacrificing things that town needs. We need to see joined-up planning.

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"It is not for the town council to do the PCT's job of identifying potential sites but the Bargroves Centre would have been an ideal location."

The surgery would be open every day, including Bank Holidays, from 8am to 8pm and would employ 15 full-time members of staff.

The closing date for comments from members of the public is July 8, with August 10 provisionally marked as a date for a decision.

St Neots GP and chairman of the St Neots Locality Group, Dr Niall Bacon, claimed the planned site for the super-surgery would radically increase town centre traffic.

Dr Bacon, from the Almond Road Surgery, said: "The new surgery is intended to have a list of 5,000 in five years, and an additional unregistered patient contact of 20 per cent over and above this. The average patient consults a GP six to eight times per year, so putting the new surgery in the centre could create as many as 48,000 additional car movements into the town centre each year by 2014."

He suggested putting the surgery on the Loves Farm development, which would benefit commuters as well as the nearby residents.

INFORMATION: Do you think Moores Walk is a suitable temporary home for the St Neots super-surgery? E-mail your views to: editor@huntspost.co.uk or write to: St Neots super-surgery debate, The Hunts Post, 30 High Street, Huntingdon, Cambs, PE29 3TB.

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