Developers will help foot the bill for new Westwood Cross GP ‘super-surgery’

A new GP surgery is planned for Westwood

Developers planning construction in and around Westwood Cross will help foot the bill for a new GP super-surgery.

Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group will request ‘106’ payments from applicants submitting plans for the area towards the £15million surgery -a rise in cost on the original £10million estimate.

Thanet CCG says the 3,500 – 4,000 sqm new build would provide  GPs and a range of other health and care services for up to 60,000 people.

Broadstairs will be working together with the villages as a PCH (Primary Care House) offering mutual support but Thanet CCG say this is not a structural or physical move.

‘No longer fit for purpose’

Thanet CCG’s estate manager says: “The CCG Primary Care Home and Estate strategies support the construction of a purpose built facility at Westwood Cross.

“The strategies identify that the practices in the vicinity of the Westwood development are no longer fit for purpose for the long term provision of primary care services to the local population, are significantly undersized compared to NHS England guidance and are indeed not able to increase clinical capacity within their existing premises to take on additional patients as a result of the development of the wider Westwood Cross area.

“The CCG has identified a need for approx. 3,500 – 4,000 sqm of accommodation to provide the required primary care services to the existing population coupled with the increase in population expected as a result of the Westwood Cross development.

“The development cost of the scheme is estimated at circa. £15m. The CCG would therefore request a capital contribution from each housing development in order to contribute towards the build cost of the facility on the understanding that the existing primary care infrastructure cannot accommodate any additional patients in its current state.”

An application for 100 houses at St Stephens, Haine Road, will need to pay £720 per 2- bed unit, £1,008 per 3-bed unit, and £1,260 per 4-bed unit. The contribution is sought as a lump sum as opposed to being a phased payment.

The Haine Road application is outline and does not yet specify the exact mix of properties.

Practice groupings

The Westwood Cross surgery is part of proposals for three GP ‘practice groupings’ in Thanet, each serving between 30,000 and 60,000 patients.

The initiative is part of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), created by Kent and Medway health trusts, the NHS, Kent County Council and Medway Council, which sets out proposals to overhaul the health system, including changes to GP surgeries and hospitals.

The STP says extended GP practices will provide enhanced in-hours primary care and enable more evening and weekend appointments and hubs – with an even greater patient capacity – will offer multi-disciplinary teams delivering physical and mental health services locally at greater scale and seven day integrated health and social care.

Original proposals were for four GP groupings – dubbed Primary Care Houses (PCHs) – made up of Quex, Broadstairs; Margate and Ramsgate.

New proposals reduce that to three by combining the villages (Birchington/Westgate) and Broadstairs.

Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group, which plans and buys healthcare services for the residents on the isle, says some £16.5 million will be spent creating the PCH services.

Currently there are 14 GP practices on the isle, Thanet CCG says there are no plans to reduce those surgeries.

Find more on the proposals here