Town 'risks losing its surgery altogether'
DELAYS in finding a site could ultimately cost Bruton its doctors' surgery, its manager has warned.
Bruton Surgery needs to move from its home of nearly 30 years in Patwell Lane, which does not have enough room for the growing practice.
A site has been earmarked at Burrowfield off Frome Road and the surgery is in negotiations with Somerset County Council to buy the land.
Residents have raised concerns over the Frome Road site due to its location and uphill walk from the town centre.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
But practice manager Jim Milner said the surgery has been searching for years for somewhere to accommodate bigger facilities.
He said: "The practice has grown. Since the early 1980s it has probably doubled in size.
"The Government has issued a number of appraisals including a requirement for the size of rooms. I think a doctor's room should now be around 16 square metres. We don't have a single room that size. The other problem is confidentiality – our waiting room is not big enough."
Mr Milner said the surgery has considered around 15 other sites in the town – all of which faced problems over availability, cost or potential flooding risk.
He said: "The problem is that the River Brue runs through the centre of town and there's no way we can find a piece of land measuring three-quarters of an acre in the centre. We would be happy to stay where we are if we had the facilities.
"We've done various sweeps around the town with experts and spoken to all the schools or anyone who may have had land available to build on. All practices in Somerset towns are having this problem.
"The danger in not building another surgery is that, in five years' time, our current site may be totally unsuitable.
"That would mean residents would have to travel to Shepton Mallet, Wincanton or Castle Cary."
Mr Milner said if a new site is not obtained before March next year, the surgery will miss out on crucial Primary Care Trust funding.
Primary Care Trusts throughout the country are scheduled for abolition as part of a Government reorganisation of the NHS from Sunday, March 31, 2013.