Shake Up Of Health Services In Chiswick Could Be On Way

Patients being asked for their views on the future of healthcare in W4

Chiswick Health Centre

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Plans for changes in the way healthcare is administered in Chiswick may be on the way, as local patients are asked for their views on the future of how their local surgery should function.

Hounslow Council has also announced some funding for work at Chiswick Health Centre which is reportedly set for future demolition and rebuilding.

The Council has this week announced that it has earmarked £88,433.00 from its Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) budget for the capital funded refurbishment and/or expansion to Chiswick Health Centre.

Under this scheme money is paid by developers as a condition of receiving planning permission. An application was turned down last year as it was decided that the funds would not be needed until 2019/20. It was determined then that £100,000 would be earmarked first, with £400,000 set aside for the following year, 2020.

The announcement is contained in the briefing of a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday (23 April) which revealed a range of projects to receive CIL money throughout the borough.

Surveys are now being sent to patients at the Health Centre in Fishers Lane, as well as patients of Wellesley Road and Grove Park surgeries this week, asking questions about what patients consider to be priorities in their surgery ( eg ease of appointments, friendliness of reception staff , what facilities they feel are needed to improve services and how important location is eg whether they would be content to travel further to a health centre )

The Chiswick Patient Engagement Survey will be sent either by email or text to hundreds of patients registered in local health centres. The deadline is 15 May.

Last year we reported that a redevelopment of Chiswick Health Centre could see it close for two years while building is carried out. We have asked the nHS for an update on the situation and will report back. It is understood that are currently discussions taking place within the relevant NHS departments relating to capital projects and property, but there is no specific information released as to when this might happen. It is likely to be some way off.

The capital funding for the building has already been identified under the Shaping a Healthier Future Implementation Business Case- however this does not include costs associated with fitting out the new premises. The Fisher's Lane centre is in need of refurbishment and one plan proposed would see the health centre rebuilt with flats located on top, which would help offset some of the cost.

There has been speculation about what would happen to GPs and other health services as to where they could relocate while work is going on. It was suggested at one stage that GPs could relocate to Grove Park, but no suitable premises were suggested. The move would most likely prove unpopular with patients for a variety of reasons. It would greatly inconvenience people having to travel over from the High road, particularly parents with young children, those with disability challenges, and also elderly patients. Parking would also be an issue with most roads in Grove Park now subject to controlled parking, albeit mostly for a two-hour stretch from 10-12 noon, a time when surgeries are very busy.

Chiswick Health Centre is one of six primary care hubs that will be serving the population of Hounslow borough. It is envisaged that these hubs will provide enhanced out of hospital care from GPs and other community providers but the current facilities do not allow this.

The Patient's Group newsletter last year had referred to the future proposal stating: "If these plans take place, the doctors would be 'decanted' (moved) probably to Grove Park for the approx two years of construction work."

The Patient's Group said then it had been promised sight of the plans and a consultation period to discuss them before any final decisions are made but it seems this will be some time away.


April 24, 2019

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