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It has been clear to us for some time, despite our practice premises serving us well for many years, that the building will not be suitable for patient care in the future.
The site, which was built more than 30 years ago, has reached capacity and the building is no longer fit for purpose to deliver modern and integrated healthcare services. The current building restricts our ability to work with other healthcare colleagues and further develop partnerships for the benefit of patients. This has been exacerbated by recent property development in Dinnington village.
Our workforce is due to grow in the next few years and there isn’t sufficient space in the current surgery to accommodate our full healthcare team, which includes GPs, practice nurses, community nurses, midwives and health visitors, mental health practitioners, clinical pharmacists, social prescribers and our support staff.
The reception area is open which limits the ability to have confidential or sensitive conversations with our patients. Access to clinical rooms is tight and not designed for disability access. Facilities, such as patient toilets and parking, are very limited.
The proposed new location
After careful and lengthy consideration, we are proposing to relocate Dinnington Surgery to a new build which will be located partially on the same site, utilising the vacant land next to the property.
The relocated surgery would be a fit-for-purpose, high-specification, modern healthcare facility which would enable us to provide a full range of integrated primary care services and support.
How this proposed move will impact on services
There won’t be any change to, or reduction of, the current services. There would be more space for the team to develop our digital offer to patients, including online and telephone consultations. Access to face-to-face appointments would also improve due to clinicians having more space to see patients.
The relocated surgery will be on the vacant land next door to the current surgery. It is expected that the distance between the existing and proposed locations will be less than 100 metres. This means that patients travelling to and from the new surgery should not experience any change in the commuting patterns. The new surgery will provide increased parking and disabled access, making it much more accessible than the current location.
The proposed move would not affect our teams visiting people in their home or in residential/care homes.
How patients would benefit from the proposed move
Staff and patient experience would improve significantly due to a much better and more pleasant environment. Additional space would enable the practice team to be co-located with other colleagues including community health nurses, mental health nurses, occupational therapists, clinical pharmacists and first contact physiotherapists and to run specialist clinics. This would ensure patients see the right person at the right time and that their care is personalised and joined up.
Additional facilities would include a large open reception area with self-check-in, a suite of consulting and treatment rooms, a buggy station, a drinks station, patient IT access/WiFi, children’s play area, baby feeding/changing facilities and a large community room for clinics.
We would also have the space to create a wellbeing hub to offer information, advice and support from a range of mental health, community, voluntary sector and social care organisations in line with a move towards a population health management approach. This will also enhance our frailty and working age complex mental health multi-disciplinary-team offer.
We also believe that relocating the practice would support in the recruitment and retention of staff. Additionally, our staff would have their own modern training facilities.
The proposed site also meets the highest of disability access standards. It will provide disabled access as it will be located on the ground floor and have wider doors, disabled parking bays, lower reception desks, disabled toilets and a hearing loop facility.
Getting feedback from patients and other stakeholders
To ensure we give patients and stakeholders the chance to give us feedback and ask any questions that they may have about the changes we are proposing, we are now entering a six-week engagement period so that they can share their views. We have commissioned an independent research agency to conduct this engagement work.
To make sure we hear from as many local people as possible, they can share their views in a number of ways.
- Complete our online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SRSVFMK
- Ask our reception team for a hard copy of our survey. This can be filled out and returned anonymously if you wish.
- Attend one of two drop-in engagement sessions at the Dinnington Memorial Institute located adjacent to the Dinnington Village Hall. You don’t need to register, just come along. See below for dates and times.
- Thursday 20th October 18:00 – 20:00
- Tuesday 1st November 14:00 – 16:00
- Write to the practice management team at Dinnington Surgery, Main Rd, Dinnington, Newcastle upon Tyne NE13 7JW or contact Ponteland Medical Group on 01661 825 513.
- Contact Healthwatch Northumberland, the statutory independent consumer champion for patients, on 03332 408 468 (local call rate) or by email email@example.com
Once the engagement has ended, we will review all the feedback we have received and present this to Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group. We will then also share this feedback with you, other stakeholders and our patients and keep everyone updated in relation to the next steps. We will do this as soon as we are in a position to do so.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is our surgery proposing to move?
The current building is old and, becoming not fit for purpose and lacks the space and facilities needed to deliver modern and integrated healthcare services. We currently don’t have enough space to accommodate the full healthcare team, which includes GPs, practice nurses, community nurses, midwives and health visitors, mental health practitioners, clinical pharmacists, social prescribers and support staff.
It is difficult to have confidential or sensitive conversations with our patients in our existing reception area. Access to clinical rooms and parking is not designed for disability access. The staff facilities are also very limited.
Q: Where is the surgery proposing to move?
The proposed relocation of the site will mean the new surgery is partly constructed on the current surgery’s site and partly on the vacant land next to it. This will mean a likely distance of less than 100m between the current and proposed locations.
Q: When will the build begin?
We are hopeful that the project will begin during Winter 2023. We will keep patients informed of any updates as this progresses.
Q: Will there be any changes to the current services provided by Dinnington Surgery?
There won’t be any change to, or reduction of, the current services. There would be more space for the team to develop our digital offer to patients, including on-line and telephone consultations. Access to face-to-face appointments would also improve due to clinicians having more space to see patients.
Q: Would the proposed move affect home visits?
No, the proposed move would not affect our teams visiting people in their home or in residential/care homes.
Q: If a patient has to call a doctor out to a home visit, is there a certain radius from the new site that this will cover or will all current patients still be included?
Home visiting would be available to all Dinnington Surgery patients who need this service.
Q: Have there been complaints from patients about not having enough facilities?
Yes, patients have raised concerns around parking, lack of space and call waiting times.
Q: Will there be a pharmacy service on the new site?
We are hoping that we will be able to include this service in the new building. We will keep patients updated as this progresses.
Q: How would the new site cater for patients with disabilities?
The proposed site meets the highest of disability access standards. It will provide disabled access as it will be located on the ground floor and have wider doors, disabled parking bays, lower reception desks, disabled toilets and a hearing loop facility.
Q: What about parking?
Free parking would be provided and there would also be several disabled and parent and child parking bays. We are looking at how we can ensure this parking is only used by practice patients and staff.
Q: Would the surgery contact details and opening hours remain the same?
Yes, you will be able to contact the surgery in the same way as you do now and core opening hours will remain the same. We will also provide appointments out of core hours.
Q: I’m a Ponteland Medical Group patient, but don’t use Dinnington Surgery, will this impact my service?
No! If you use our Ponteland location, this move will not affect you.
Q: Will I continue to go to the current surgery during this work?
Yes, we aim for a seamless handover between one site and the other and notice will be given of when the proposed new surgery is up and running.
Q. Will I be able to consult with my usual doctor or nurse?
Yes, all our staff team will continue to work as normal both during the building works and in the transfer period.
Q. I have a long term health problem – how will this affect my care?
Not at all; our ongoing care of patients will continue to be our top priority.
Q. Will there be any change to the service we receive from community services such as district nurses, midwives or health visitors?
No; all these services will continue as before.
Q. Will I be able to access new services at the other surgery?
We hope that the increased space will make it easier to offer additional clinics.
Q. Will my medical records be affected?
No; everything will be transferred from one site to the other.
Q. Will your opening hours change?
The opening hours will only change if central government require a change of all general practice. Otherwise, we envisage no change.
Q: How can I contact the surgery, will the surgery phone number still be the same?
You should be able to contact the Surgery in the same way that you currently do and the phone number is expected to remain the same.
Q: How can I make appointments?
You will be able to make appointments in the same way at the new site as you choose to use at the old site. That will not change.
Q: Where can I find out more information?
You can keep up to date with any news on Ponteland Medical Group’s website: http://ponteland.northumbria.nhs.uk/dinnington-surgery/
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