By Ewan Foskett
Thursday, June 21, 2012
A VISION for a doctors surgery to move into Royston Hospital and kick start a “21st Century” healthcare centre has been revealed by a GP.
Dr Peter Gough wants to move the Market Hill surgery into the redeveloped London Road site in a bid to bring nurses, doctors and physiotherapists together.
He told The Crow: “We have Market Hill coming to the end of its lease in three years and we will be looking for a new site.
It seems sensible to use Royston Hospital as a location to form the focus of a community site.
“My vision is to do something where we can bring healthcare together and the hospital is somewhere it can be achieved in the future.
“If we can focus now on years to come and follow it up with the town’s GPs we could have a healthcare centre fit for the 21st century. We have that land. It is owned by the NHS.
“We would be absolutely happy to go and I think if we do build a care home with intermediate care beds, we would have the physiotherapists and nurses in the same place. With a surgery there we would be able to look after patients and focus on building for the future. Royston would have its own primary care centre for generations to come.”
Dr Gough’s suggestion comes as NHS Herts, the Primary Care Trust (PCT), plans to redevelop the hospital into a care home that will be operated in partnership with Herts County Council and a private company.
Dr Gough who has served the town for 27 years, said the redevelopment meant there was a “fork in the road” that allowed health bosses to look decades into the future rather than the short term.
The Crow put the GP’s proposal to the PCT and it said it could not comment as a former proposal has not yet been made.
Dr Gough’s suggestion comes after plans for a £1m extension to Royston Health Centre were lodged with North Herts District Council.
The first floor of the building may be extended with a modular unit that will be placed on top of the first floor, and the added space will be used by musculo-skeletal physiotherapy services.
The existing facilities will be remodelled with an improved reception area, new lift, and more clinical space added.
The extension was originally mooted as a temporary measure, and it was originally thought the clinics would be moved back to the hospital after it the revamp.
Oliver Heald, the town’s MP, said: “I think that it is necessary for the clinics to be moved there and they shouldn’t be on a temporary basis, while the work is done on London Road.
“The main thing is to make sure the service is being delivered in a town location and they are getting the same services.”
In-patients beds have been moved to Hitchin on a temporary basis, a move that angered campaigners and politicians as health bosses originally said Royston patients would stay in the town.
It is expected the beds will be moved back to Royston in July.