Brockwell Surgery Relocation Approved

The practice is pleased to announce that it has been given the green light to relocate its Brockwell Surgery to a new build which will be fit for future and integrated healthcare provision. The practice was given the final approval at NHS North East and North Cumbria ICB’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee.

The practice would like to thank all its patients and local stakeholders for their feedback during the engagement process.

The relocated surgery will be located 2.2 miles from the current practice and will be on the ground floor of Northumbria Healthcare’s new health and education centre of excellence in the grounds of Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital. The centre of excellence, which will be called the Northumbria Health and Care Academy, will be a totally separate building from the hospital.

Dr Aamir Munir, Executive GP partner, said: “We are delighted with and very much welcome this approval. The new practice building is a fit-for-purpose, high-specification, modern healthcare facility which would enable our practice to provide a full range of integrated primary care services and support. We will absolutely still be embedded within the community that we serve. Relocating here will mean that we can continue to improve the quality of care we provide our patients, continue to tackle health inequalities and do all we can to ensure the care is tailored to their needs and is as joined up as possible with other services they may require.”

The move has been something the practice has wanted to do for a while and the final decision was made after an independently run six-week engagement process. This enabled patients and all other stakeholders to give their feedback on the relocation in a variety of ways including via email, on-line, face-to-face on an individual basis and as part of focus groups or at drop-in sessions. More than 1,500 people took part in this engagement process.

Dr Munir continued: “I appreciate that there were mixed views when we did our patient engagement, but would like to reassure people that we will do all we can to address any concerns, including providing patient transport for those who need it and ensuring there is enough free parking on site. There won’t be any change to, or reduction of, the current services. There will in fact be a better provision as a result of more space. We will be able to co-locate with other services, develop our digital offer to patients and increase access to face-to-face appointments.

“Patients registered at Brockwell Surgery don’t have to re-register and when we move, contact details and opening hours will remain the same. We will also be able to provide appointments out of core hours. Patients who are registered at our Seaton Sluice or Seaton Delaval surgeries will see not change to their services and will continue to access services offered at Brockwell at the new site.”

The practice is committed to providing patient transport to those who need it and is working with Age UK to identify alternative transport options. This service will be bookable for the time of a patient’s appointment and will be a door-do-door service.

Options, including having a barrier in place, are being considered to ensure GP surgery patients have access to parking when they attend the practice.

The Brockwell Surgery and site is owned by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Options for the future use of the building are currently being reviewed. This includes the possibility of it being used as a community health resource.

You can read the full engagement report by clicking on the link in the downloads section on the right hand side of the page.

We will of course keep patients, and all other stakeholders updated with the progress.

For any additional comments not covered by the reports please contact us by email –

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?

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.

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 North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (the ICB) 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.

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