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News Archive > General > Plan to close Woodland Road surgery

Plan to close Woodland Road surgery

By Jo Sampson 8th March 2017

Plan to close Woodland Road surgery
SET FOR CLOSURE: Woodland Road Surgery

ST AUSTELL Healthcare (SAH) is considering closing Woodland Road Surgery as part of plans to amalgamate patient services onto one site.

Back in January 2016, the Voice revealed services at Woodland Road Surgery would be cut back as SAH, which comprises Wheal Northey Surgery, Park Medical Centre, Woodland Road Surgery and the Carlyon Road Health Hub, looked to replace it with a new surgery.

The surgery’s opening hours were reduced by an hour to 9am to 5pm on a Wednesday and Thursday where limited services would be available.

On Monday, SAH announced they are considering closing the site and moving all services to Wheal Northey to “create a better service for patients”.

Speaking to the Voice, GP partner, Dr Alistair James, explained: “Our five year plan is to amalgamate patient services onto one site in St Austell if possible, as this will offer a better service to our patients and make running the organisation easier and more cost-effective.

“We’ve spent a lot of time working on this and the reason that we have decided to consider closing Woodland Road is because the building is not suitable for providing high quality medical services in the 21st century.

“A lot of the consultation rooms are upstairs and the only way of accessing those rooms if you’re disabled is via a stair lift. So that’s our main reason. Parking also isn’t good there.

“Additional office space has just become available at Wheal Northey and accordingly we are considering closing Woodland Road site and moving all services to Wheal Northey from May 1. Wheal Northey is new, it’s fit for purpose, has good car parking and good disabled access.

“Offices on the first floor at Wheal Northey will be converted to provide dedicated clinical rooms for the clinicians — the doctors and nurses — at Woodland Road to come here and they will work from here. More administration space will be available on the second floor.

“The key thing is that all the doctors, clinicians and the staff would be moving to Wheal Northey with the patients so they will still see their familiar faces and they will still be able to see the doctors and nurses that they would normally see.”

Dr James continued: “Patients will be contacted electronically either by text or via email. We would urge people to check in their spam boxes because sometimes the emails go into spam.

“For those where we have no details like this, we will be writing to them and they will receive a letter in the post.

“We have also done a patient survey, because patient views are very important to us, and we want to know what people think.

“Paper copies of this survey are available on reception at Woodland Road and they need to be returned to Woodland Road to a box there.

“If patients have got any questions we will be having a drop-in session on Tuesday, April 4, from 12.30pm to 2pm at Woodland Road which will be led by myself, Dr McClure and other colleagues from the practice where people can drop in and ask questions.”

He added: “The key messages here are this is better for patients because it’s better facilities, better parking but it’s also better for staff.

“The staff are obviously disappointed that Woodland Road may be closing but it’s better for them because there will be a bigger team working here and it’ll be easier to work as part of a bigger team.”

By Jo Sampson 8th March 2017

Worried resident 8th March 2017 13:38
St austell health care strike again!
What a ridiculous decision it is to shut down Woodland Road.
It was fine as it was before it got lumped in with the failing Polkyth surgery. Since then it has become almost impossible to get an appointment, what will the elderly do that used to be able to walk to their local doctors, will they be forced to get a taxi, are StA Health going to foot the bill?
I fear for the patients at Park and the others in St A Heath as won´t be long before they are closed down too!
And what is going to Woodland Rd now? More houses/flats? Just what we need, not!
I hope the MP will make a stand against this and support the local doctors surgeries in the town. Come on Mr Double time to sort this mess out!
Benjamin Nash 8th March 2017 16:46
Can anyone advise what the building will be used for afterwards?

If a youth group needed a place to meet, would this be an option?
Another resident of St Awful! 8th March 2017 17:43
Is this the start of the Ģ264m saving on the NHS recently circulated by councillor Walker?

Personnel I don´t think St. Austell Health care can cope with 4surgeries & the Hub with the amount of patients is has now!
Impatient Patient 8th March 2017 18:41
Wheal Northey has better parking facilities!....not that I have ever noticed!
It´s always full whenever I visit the Pharmacy.
This just goes to prove that we are no longer ´people and patients´ but financial statistics.
Comment to "Worried Resident"...Mr Double has no power or influence in preventing this....even if he wanted to.
Mrs Patricia Curtis 8th March 2017 19:27
I use Wheal Northey surgery. Sometimes it is difficult to park. I understand the need to close woodland road surgery, but the extra docs, nurses, patients and people using the chemist will surely cause a problem. Would extra room be allocated? The entrance area is small, and the road difficult to park.
Ann Hawkey 8th March 2017 19:44
Is this going to work? I have only been to Wheal Northey surgery a few times but parking was a nightmare. With more rooms available for clinicians there will be more patients arriving at the same time . Has someone monitored the parking to see if there are always spaces available?
What a sham 8th March 2017 20:43
To be honest , nobody has been able to get an appointment with their own gp at woodland rd, since the hub !
So I have no idea what has been going on at woodland road for the last year or so ?´
We already can´t get appointments , medication or even get through on the phone lines , so to simply close yet another surgery is surely suicide !!
St Austell is growing by the day,more and more people moving here , so what shall we do ..... to an already over subscribed Nhs service , close yet another and try to kid us all this is going to be better for all patients, this is utterly ridiculous and will result in neglect to the most vulnerable and weak .
Although I am sorry to say , I am not at all surprised, where is your duty of care ?
People are suffering and nobody cares, where will this end , this will result in the ambulance and paramedics being even more in demand for minor things,that could be treated by a nurse or gp at the surgery, thus resulting in fatalities !
when a serious 999 call comes in there will be no abulance available for Rta or heart attacks etc, this is a very sad state of affairs for the people of st Austell 😡😬
Benney 9th March 2017 11:28
Extra office space for more appointments? Last time i was down Bethel end patients parking on the road . Guess with all the extra traffic and patients plans for extra parking already put through? But think every thing that end of town will grind to a halt.
frederick edwards 9th March 2017 11:29
This is going to be a disaster for st austell. It was bad enough when Wheal Northey took over the gpīs in the surrounding area.
Wheal Northey DOES NOT have enough parking as it is.
I canīt get an appointment ,when I want one now, unless I want to go somewhere else like Nanpean, where I have been twice this year.
Penrice is possibly up for closure so we will have no other choice but to go to RCH.
Graham Walker 10th March 2017 08:52
This is not part of the Cornwall STP plan which requires "Savings" of Ģ264m to work. That is why the Penrice Minor Injuries Unit is earmarked for closure.
This is the decision of St Austell Healthcare, the private company which provides GP services to St Austell. The trouble with this closure is that it will hit Mount Charles, one of the most deprived parts of St Austell, hardest. Wheal Northey cannot cope with demand now, with many patients having to wait 2 weeks for an appointment. It simply will not manage with another 8000 patients having to travel there.
Mrs S 10th March 2017 11:44
I was the first patient into see the nurse a few weeks back at woodland road - and still didnīt get seen until 10 minutes after my appointment time. When I walked in there was no apology or explanation of why I was late in, yet if I had turned up late I guess I would be sent away.

I struggle to get an appointment with a GP and have even sat waiting at another surgery until the magic hour of 10am when appointments are released just to get to see a GP within 7 days.

Its not just here - Friends in other parts of the country have the same problems, its the entire system thatīs creaking at the seams and verging on collapse
Ann Nelson 10th March 2017 16:23
Why am I not surprised. The writing was on the wall from the very beginning. What about the patients who do not have transport to get to Wheal Northey or any of the other Surgeries, or are too poorly, and if you can manage to get to there by car, where is the extra parking coming from. The only place to park will be on Bethel Road and that gets very congested now, especially by the Park, an accident waiting to happen.

I have been a Patient and also worked at Woodland Road for many years and feel very sad at its closure but I suppose all I will be told is, get over it, there is no room for sentiment.
Michael 11th March 2017 13:17
Iīve been a patient at Woodland Road for over 30 years. The staff have always been caring and courteous and Doctors were always available to those who could wait. I was never once denied the chance to see a doctor until St Austell Healthcare Group took over the running of the surgery. Since then itīs become all but impossible to get an appointment or indeed get through on the telephone either. Itīs an absolute disgrace that they can destroy a thriving practice in such a short timescale. They consolation process to survey patients is equally flawed and itīs interesting to see Bethel Councillor Graham Walker express his concerns on this page too. Wheal Northey as a replacement is not only impractical for Mount Charles patients but almost guaranteed to make that practice fail too. I wonder if the Healthcare Groupīs agenda is to run all of the surgeries into the ground. How long before Foxhole patients have to face coming to St Austell to see a doctor? Makes you wander what former Woodland doctors including Leigh, Mackrell and Robinson think of the future of their old practice now?
Percy Quill 11th March 2017 21:56
I have concerns about the St Austell Healthcare (SAH) transfer of the Woodland Road Surgery: its Doctors, nurses and staff, to the Wheal Northey Surgery, and wonder if this has been properly thought through. One reason offered is limited Car Park spaces at Woodland Road which number approx 12, but with extra on street parking often available. At Wheal Northey with the present number of Doctors & clinical staff, the present car parking just about copes, but there is no chance of on street parking. To my way of thinking this new idea equates to: more Doctors, nurses and patients = considerably less car parking spaces. Add to that equation those of us who need to visit the on-site Pharmacy to pick up prescriptions or make purchases, and the car parking problem alone is tripled. There are other associated problems. The Pharmacy has a large team of back room personal making up prescriptions, answering the phones etc, but very often only one person dealing with over the counter sales and prescription collections. Sometimes the queue extends outside the building...a similar situation which can be experienced at the adjacent Surgery check-in, with all the heat escaping from the waiting room area because people have to unavoidably stand in the areas which trigger the automatic door sensors. It may be thought to be better for Doctors and staff, but I cannot believe that this move will not exacerbate patient frustrations. Final question. Where does the Polkyth Hub, with its huge car parking and ease of access now fit into the scheme of things, for I thought that venue was specifically designed to eliminate many former problems?
David Weston 15th March 2017 16:15
It´s a real shame but this what it is ... too big to cope !!!
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