Need for clarity over Kenilworth’s GP surgeries

Hugh Macknight/PA Wire ENGEMN00120130304120756
Hugh Macknight/PA Wire ENGEMN00120130304120756

Queries have been raised over the future of GP surgeries and a possible new medical centre as plans are set for 14 new consultation rooms in the Local Plan.

Extra medical facilities are needed for the thousands of residents expected with 1,100 homes over the next 15 years.

In the summer, Dave Barber, a planning officer at Warwick District Council (WDC), said this would mean 14 new consultation rooms and that plans were ongoing on how best to provide them - possibly with a new GP surgery at Thickthorn.

He said that while the existing Castle and Abbey medical centres may require expansion to accommodate new patients, it was “very unlikely” that the plans would lead to big changes, or a merger of the sites.

Bally Singh, a Coventry councillor and Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Kenilworth and Southam, has now called for renewed clarity on how the extra healthcare will be provided, and at what cost.

He said: “The future of Abbey and Castle medical centres need to be clarified.”

“I am concerned that the healthcare proposals in the Local Plan haven’t been properly costed, as they depend too much on the ups and downs of the future property market.

“Too much financial risk could be placed on the taxpayer under these proposals.”

The council’s draft infrastructure delivery plan sets out that £141,008 is needed for “expanded medical facilities to meet the needs of additional development”. Funding for a new centre is expected to come from the NHS and levies placed on the developers who will build hundreds of houses set out in the Local Plan.

Cllr Andrew Mobbs, leader of WDC, would not comment on any plans or considerations being considered at this stage due to the upcoming election.

A WDC spokesman said: “The council will continue to negotiate with the NHS to ensure that any new developments provide an appropriate contribution towards the improvement of GP facilities and also to ensure those improvements are delivered in a timely manner.”