Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has announced that a planning permission application has been submitted to build the long-awaited new GP practice in Felton. In a letter to patients, the trust said:
As you will be aware, the new surgery has been in the pipeline for a few years now, and this latest positive step follows an engagement period where patients and stakeholders were able to give feedback on plans. Patient and feedback from others demonstrates that most people welcome the new surgery and the improved patient care and experience that it will enable. It will also provide staff with a much more suitable and modern environment to work in. The current surgery, on Main Street, is small and housed in a converted farm building. The new and spacious site will be located less than half a mile away on Robson Grove.
Northumbria Primary Care’s commitment
Felton and Widdrington surgeries (Northumberland Health) became part of Northumbria Primary Care (NPC) in July this year. NPC, which was formed in 2015, is a partnership of ten GP practices and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Patients should be assured that NPC is committed to providing excellent patient care and experience. We are also always looking at ways to improve patient access as we know how important this is, especially in rural areas. We are looking at services that will be provided from our new surgery, which will include GP cover and we will of course keep everyone updated. We encourage people to continue to give feedback on this via the Assura engagement microsite or speak to someone in the practice.
The new surgery is to be built by national primary care premises specialist, Assura. The building will be a fantastic environment to provide vital primary care services for patients in Felton and surrounding areas. It will also be a welcoming and modern space and, very importantly, provide access for people with disabilities. The building will be 280 square metres (GIA) and consist of reception and dispensing areas, a comfortable waiting room, five consultation rooms and space for staff training. There will be space for an ambulance to park outside the front of the surgery, 20 car parking spaces and secure storage for bicycles.
Assura has adopted Passivhaus design principles to ensure its environmental impact is minimal. Meaning ‘passive house’ in English, these principles refer to creating buildings that maintain an almost constant temperature, ensuring energy efficiency. By adopting Passivhaus design principles, we’re ensuring that the Felton surgery will lead the way in the design of primary care facilities while harmonising with its surroundings – something so important in a rural community.
Planning decision and construction time-line
The planning decision is expected by the end of this year. Subject to planning permission, it is hoped that construction will start in early 2024, with the surgery being operational by Summer of 2025. Please be assured that both NPC and Assura will ensure patients and stakeholders are kept informed as this project progresses. We will do so via practices, digital channels, texting patients and also via community groups, where appropriate. More details on the development can be found on Assura’s dedicated microsite including a FAQs document. View the full planning application.
Additional patient information
We have had feedback that people are concerned that Widdrington will close as a result of building a new surgery – this is not the case.
The electronic prescription service is now live. This allows prescribers to send prescriptions electronically to a pharmacy of your choice – including on-line pharmacies. You still have the option to collect your prescription from Felton.
We continue to review the services we provide from Felton and would like to continue to hear any suggestions/views via the Assura portal.
We will be launching a new practice website for Felton and Widdrington and will let patients know when this goes live.
If you have any queries, please contact email@example.com.
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