We recently had the excellent news that the new Brackley Medical Centre has been given the go-ahead, thanks to the agreement from Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust to fund the intermediate care beds needed to make the project viable. This was a huge victory for residents in the town and the surrounding villages, and will mean that patients can access a wide array of outpatient services closer to home.
Incorporating a new pharmacy, 16 so-called “step-down” beds, x-ray facilities, a minor injuries unit and other services, the new three-storey medical centre will be a huge asset for the town and replaces the old Cottage Hospital. Although the planning application had gone through some time ago, there was a hurdle after it was unclear whether Nene Clinical Commissioning Group would provide funding for additional beds. After getting involved myself at the behest of the GP Partners, I am delighted that NHFT have been able to support this vital project and I look forward to the opening ceremony!
In Towcester, I am working with the GPs there to explore how we might enhance the already excellent service provision that our three local surgeries provide to take advantage of the new money available through the Towcester Vale expansion. I am holding regular meetings with the GPs, Nene CCG and others to discuss this, and we are putting together a new Vision for Towcester which will outline how we might replicate Brackley’s expansion of outpatient services in Towcester.
I have also written to Daventry District Council in support of the application for a new medical centre in Byfield. The current site, whilst extremely popular with patients, is now providing primary healthcare for more than double the number originally intended, and I know that the GPs there are keen to move to a new site offered by a local developer.
We did, of course, have the bad news that the Horsefair branch in Middleton Cheney has closed, although I understand that more GPs have recently started practising at the Horsefair surgery in Banbury. I am continuing to monitor this situation and am always grateful of any comments that residents may have that I can pass back to the local healthcare trusts and CCGs.
As ever, if you have a comment or a concern about your local GP practice do get in touch. Equally, if you think that your local doctor or surgery should be singled out for praise, please do let me know and I would be happy to write to thank them on your behalf! Our GPs do a wonderful job locally, and I think we can all be extremely proud of the excellent care they provide for us.