Proposed Relocation of Brockwell Surgery

It has been clear to us for some time that despite our practice building serving us well for many years, it will not be suitable for quality patient care for very much longer. We have outlined the main reasons for this below.

  • 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.
  • 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.

After serious consideration, and initial discussions with our Patient Participation Group and NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group, we are proposing to relocate Brockwell Surgery to a new build which will be located in Cramlington on the site of the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital (NSECH), in a totally separate building. This is 2.2 miles away from Brockwell Surgery.

We have the opportunity to relocate the practice on the ground floor of a new health and education centre of excellence. This 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. The new build is due to be completed by autumn 2023.

Our patients registered at our Seaton Sluice and Seaton Delaval surgeries will need to travel to the proposed new site to access any services that they currently access at the Brockwell site.

We would like to hear your views – how to give us your feedback

As we draw towards the end of our patient engagement, we would like to thank all who have attended our drop in sessions, completed surveys and given feedback so far.

You still have time to have your say.  The closing date to return a completed survey is 31st March 2022

You can get these from any of our practice receptions or you can download a copy on our website here: www.valensmedical.co.uk/brockwellmove

You can also send a letter addressed to the practice management team at Brockwell or email us here:  norccg.valensmedical@nhs.net.

The reason we are asking you to put your thoughts in writing is so that they can be documented and considered in the final reporting.

From patient engagement so far, transport to the new site has been raised most, followed by patient parking.

We are working with Age UK for transport solutions for any patients who might struggle to get to their appointment.  This consideration is not just for the elderly, but is for all patients.  This service would be based on need & prebooked at the time of appointment.  Patients would be collected and brought to the surgery in time for their appointment and then taken home again. This would be a free service provided by the practice. We will keep you informed with developments on this.

There are 3 main bus stops within walking distance of the sites, which are serviced by a number of bus routes and operators in and around Cramlington.  Further information regarding the bus routes will be displayed on our website should the proposal go ahead.

Free Patient Parking –  Patient parking will be plentiful and free, including disabled parking bays & parent and child bays.  We will also have a number of electric charging points.  To ensure the car park will be used only by Valens patients, we are discussing a token / barrier system. We will of course update you with any final decisions should the relocation proposal go ahead.

We will share the feedback we receive around mid-April and will, of course, keep everyone updated.

We have tried to answer as many questions as we can to ensure you are as informed as possible in our frequently asked questions. If you have any further queries, please email us at norccg.valensmedical@nhs.net.

We look forward to haring your thoughts. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is our Brockwell surgery proposing to move?

The current building is 30 years old, 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. This is a real issue as our healthcare and administrative team is due to grow.

It is difficult to have confidential or sensitive conversations with our patients in our existing reception area. The reception area in the proposed building includes two private rooms. Access to clinical rooms is tight and not designed for disability access. The patient toilets aren’t in the main building and parking is very limited. The staff facilities are also very limited.

Where is the surgery proposing to move to?

We are proposing to relocate our Brockwell Surgery to a new build which will be located in Cramlington on the site of the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital (NSECH), in a totally separate building. This is 2.2 miles away from Brockwell Surgery.

The relocated surgery would be on the ground floor of this new health and education centre of excellence. This 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.

When would the proposed move take place?

The move would be completed by autumn 2023. We will keep you updated with progress.

Would there be any changes to the current services provided by Brockwell 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.

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.

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 Brockwell Surgery patients who need this service.

Would any of the existing services be delivered in the vicinity of the existing Brockwell surgery?

We hope to gather views in relation to this as part of our engagement process.

How would patients 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.

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. 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.

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.

Why does the surgery need more space when it is moving to offering more telephone appointments?

The surgery is not moving to solely offering more telephone appointments. It is looking to provide a range of telephone, digital and face-to-face options, depending on the health care need of a patient. On the contrary, the surgery is hoping to offer more group clinics and specialist services to support particular cohorts of patients.

Is relocation to the NSECH site the only option available to the practice?

The existing surgery building is too small to expand to the size that would be needed to meet future patient needs. There isn’t another local site that is suitable.

What new patient facilities would be on the proposed site?

Additional facilities would include a large open reception area with self-check-in and two private rooms, 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.

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. 

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.

What if I am going to struggle to get to the proposed new site?

We are working with local partners, including Age UK, to identify alternative transport options so that all patients, including those who don’t have their own car, can get to the proposed new site. This offer will be for patients of all ages. We are, of course, also considering our elderly, vulnerable and frail patients as part of these discussions.

Will a list of bus routes be provided?

We will upload this information on our website.

How will the new site be accessible to pedestrians?

We will ensure safe access.

Would I need to re-register as a patient to attend the new site?

No, you will not need to re-register as a patient. You can also be reassured that our current Brockwell healthcare team would move to the new building, so you would be able to see the same GPs, nurses and other practitioners as you do now.

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.

Can I move GP practice if I want to and how would I do this?

We hope you will remain a patient with us. If you choose to register with a different GP practice you would need to contact them and we would then transfer your records.

How would this affect me if I am a registered patient at the Seaton Sluice or Seaton Delaval surgeries?

Our branch surgeries at these sites are unaffected, but you would have to travel to the proposed new site to access the services that you currently receive at Brockwell Surgery.

Would there be extra staff at the proposed new site?

Yes, the practice is so short of space which means they can’t accommodate all of their staff at the current surgery. This will include additional members of the administration team being able to work at the proposed site.

Why would the proposed new site attract staff as opposed to the current site?

Working in a modern, fit-for-purpose environment is much more attractive to prospective staff. Also, some GPs look for portfolio opportunities, where they work a number of sessions as a GP and may specialise in another area of health. Being located close to a hospital may present opportunities and help facilitate this.

Why would the proposed new site offer stability in relation to GP services, as opposed to the current site?

We think that having a fit-for-purpose, modern and more spacious environment will improve patient experience and access and also enable more services to be delivered from the site. This will help to ensure the future sustainability, resilience, quality and variety of services.

The idea of moving the surgery was not progressed four years ago, what has changed?

The practice has grown since then and continues to grow and develop its workforce. There is an increasing number of clinical roles within the practice, which does improve patient care. These roles include mental health practitioners and clinical pharmacists.

What would happen to the existing Brockwell Surgery building/site?

The building is owned by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust who is looking at options for the use of the building if the proposed move goes ahead. This includes it possibly being used as a community health resource. We will keep people updated.

Has construction of the new site begun and is it a done deal?

It is proposed that the new site will also house an education facility, conference facilities and offices. The practice is following a formal approval and engagement process.

Will there be a chemist/pharmacy at the new site?

The developer’s plans include a space for a pharmacy.

How will the move impact on the GP practice finances?

NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (the CCG) will support Valens Medical Group with rent through the GP rent reimbursement process. No increases in cost are anticipated as a result of the move.

How can I give my views on the proposed move?

We have now started a six-week engagement period and you have a variety of ways in which you can give us your feedback and views. These are outlined in detail in the letter we have sent patients registered at our Brockwell Surgery.

Downloads

Letter to Patients

FAQ’s (Updated)

Brockwell Survey – This can be printed and handed in to the practice.

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