AN EXTENSION to Hayes Town’s GP surgery can finally go ahead, more than two years after the plans were submitted.
The council has given the Hesa Centre permission to run health care services in the neighbouring premises, a former post office in Station Road, and work should start sometime this year.
The Hillingdon Primary Care Trust (PCT) first applied in October 2009 to meet the growing demand for health care services in Hayes. A new entrance, reception area, waiting area and consultation rooms feature in the plans.
It is estimated that work would take about six months.
The provision of parking for patients has been a sticking point since April 2010, with the Hillingdon PCT unable to sign a long-term lease for the car park behind the centre. This has now been resolved.
In January 2011, the Gazette reported fears over delays to the project and the potential threat to its future posed by NHS budget cuts.
But Duncan Stroud, spokesman for NHS North West London, said that the project is still on the cards despite the time lapse and financial uncertainty.
“The aim is to have all of our GP services on the ground floor,” he said.
“There’s been growth in local demand, and this project fits with the NHS wanting to see more community health care.
NHS Hillingdon is currently devising a building schedule so disruption to patient care is minimised.
Trevor Begg, chairman of the borough’s health scrutiny body, Hillingdon LINk, said: “This is very timely, considering the restructuring of local health services that is happening at the moment.
“Money being spent in the current climate is very welcome.
“Once it is finished, there will be extra space, which means more services can be provided for people in Hayes.”
The Hesa Primary Care Centre – Hesa is an ancient name for Hayes – is home to Hayes Town Medical Centre on the ground floor, which opened a walk-in clinic in November 2009 and is run by private providers Bondcare on behalf of NHS Hillingdon.
The Orchard Practice is on the first floor, and has more than 4,000 patients, and recently became a social enterprise, a new option for health providers, which give GPs and staff greater control over their affairs, and which are run as a not-for-profit business.
* Just what Hayes needs? What about the soon to close Yeading practice? Your views welcome, as always, to www.uxbridgegazette.co.uk/tellus.