Proposal to turn Welwyn Garden City surgery into private house

PUBLISHED: 11:25 18 July 2017

Garden City Practice on Guessens Road.

Garden City Practice on Guessens Road.

Danny Loo Photography 2017

A Welwyn Garden City GP practice is moving forward with a plan to consolidate all three of its surgeries on a new site, improving access and allowing it to expand its services.

After winning broad approval from consulted patients, the Garden City Practice has asked the borough council for permission to convert its surgery in Guessens Road into a private house with at least four bedrooms.

The practice, which serves about 10,000 patients and also runs surgeries in Knightsfield and Haldens, hopes to concentrate services in the clinic building on the corner of Parkway and Birdcroft.

Practice manager Sarah Ellingworth explained: “This is a long-term plan, and the planning application is just one preliminary step among many.

“We have consulted with patients, and so far feedback has been very positive and we have received overwhelming support.

“Transport has been an area for discussion and we are working with our patients and patient group to take a few ideas forward.

“We are working with NHS England to make this a reality, but there is a lot of paperwork to fight through and no confirmed funding is in place at the moment.

“All three of our current premises have access problems for many patients, such as stairs or entrances that are not suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

“This project could enable us to start teaching GPs.

“Two of our doctors are qualified to train, but at the moment there is no space for new GP registrars to work - the practice struggles to fit in our own doctors and nurses as it is.

“GPs often stay working in the area where they trained, so this could benefit patients throughout Welwyn Hatfield.

“This plan would need some internal alterations to the Parkway Clinic, but it is already a health building, so it doesn’t need very extensive work.

“It is important to stress that we will still be the same practice with the same doctors.

“We are really excited about this project, but we can’t say at this stage when it might be realised, or that it will definitely happen.”

To view the change-of-use proposal to convert the surgery to a house, visit welhat.gov.uk and search the planning section with the following reference 6/2017/1471/FULL

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