Walk-in surgery bid for ex-college

The former Hucknall College on Portland Street.
The former Hucknall College on Portland Street.

A petition to create an NHS walk-in surgery in the former Hucknall College building on Portland Road has already gathered over 2,000 signatures.

The campaign was launched by Hucknall First Community Forum county councillor John Wilmott, who says the move will tackle the problem of overcrowded surgeries and lengthening waiting times caused by a growing population.

Councillor John Wilmott of Hucknall First Community Forum

Councillor John Wilmott of Hucknall First Community Forum

NHS bosses say they have no current plans for such a centre, but have outlined their plans to meet increasing demand in the town.

Coun Wilmott said: “Many residents are saying it is taking far too long to obtain a surgery appointment at their local doctors.

“In a housing strategy plan by Ashfield District Council it is proposed that 2,284 homes are to be built over the next few years that will put extreme pressure on the present infrastructure.

“It is essential that high quality, accessible health care is available to every Hucknall resident. In the long term we want to see more services provided in Hucknall that meet the needs of the population, including more urgent care provision.”

Rachael Rees, head of Primary Care Operations, Nottingham North and East Clinical Commissioning Group, said there are currently no plans for a Walk In Centre/Surgery in Hucknall.

She said: “We are, however, involved in ongoing work with the practices and patient groups to examine how we can work together to ensure that high quality, accessible healthcare is available to every Hucknall resident.

“In the short-term, the practices are looking at how they can collaborate on projects to enable greater working flexibility and to extend services. In the long-term, together we will ensure more services are provided in Hucknall that meet the needs of a growing population.”

A project manager will work with the practices to develop a business case which will detail expected service demand over the next ten to 15 years, develop the local NHS offer to patients and set out the investment needed to deal with it. This is likely to be considered in April 2016.

As the Hucknall practices work closer together, bosses hope it will lead to more appointment choice and enhanced services.

If a patient has an urgent care need at the weekend then they can visit the Urgent Care Centre in Nottingham, where they can see clinician on the same day or they can call 111 to be directed to the most appropriate out of hours’ service. It’s also really important to remember that pharmacists can also provide expert advice on a range of health issues.

Ms Rees said: “The best way to help the situation is to support the current GP Practices to work together to develop services fit for purpose.”