Concerns over new surgery
PATIENTS in Downend say they are concerned about how they will get to the new Leap Valley Surgery when it moves premises later this year.
The surgery currently operates out of two 1950s semi detached houses in Fouracre Road but cramped conditions led to a 12-year search to find suitable land to build new premises.
Work finally started in November on a £3.1million health centre in Beaufort Road, which will serve 10,500 patients in Downend, Emersons Green and Yate.
The new surgery, which will boast ten consulting rooms and a minor injuries unit, is less than a mile away on foot but some patients have told the surgery they are worried about how they will get there.
However, surgery bosses say they are looking at different options to ensure those who may find the journey difficult are given help.
Leap Valley Surgery general manager Helen Holbrook said: “Some of our patients have expressed concerns regarding getting to and from our new surgery. We are exploring a number of options at the moment to help those who might find it difficult.
“One option, already available to residents in our area, is Kingswood Community Transport (KCT), which has been serving our community for 29 years. The services they provide are tailored to their customer needs and they provide accessible vehicles for people who cannot easily use public transport or who are transport-disadvantaged.
“KCT operate a doctors’ surgery shuttle service as well as trips to Southmead, Blackberry Hill, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Cossham and Bristol Eye Hospital.”
Leap Valley Surgery was established almost 60 years ago but is no longer fit for purpose.
The surgery had been working with developers Kitto since 2002 to find a suitable site, with opportunities to acquire land few and far between as land is quickly snapped up for housing.
The site in Beaufort Road will accommodate a 1,000sq m development which will be home to seven GPs and 24 staff.
There will be an on-site pharmacy, meeting and training rooms and car park.
Mrs Holbrook said despite the wet weather building work is on schedule and expected to be completed in November.
“The weather has been exceptionally bad but the developers are still on track. They managed to get a little bit ahead of themselves before the New Year which meant if we did get adverse weather they would still be able to finish in time.
“They are very experienced builders and they made sure they got the Tarmac down as soon as they could, which made it a workable site.”
To keep up-to-date with the progress of the new surgery, please visit www.leapvalleysurgery.co.uk.
If you have concerns about getting to the new surgery you can call Kingswood Community Transport on 961 6016.