Work has finally started at North Witchford Lodge, with the good news that the villagers of Wimblington will have their own doctor’s surgery by April 2016.
The news is welcomed as last year, villagers were left without a surgery and having to travel to Doddington Medical Centre if they were in need of a doctor. The previous Wimblington GP’s surgery was based within a house at Governess Close and was closed in March 2014 because it was unfit for purpose. This was with the understanding that a new purpose built building would replace the GPs surgery in due course.
However, shortly after closing the GP surgery at Governess Close, NHS England refused the business case to replace the surgery and would not fund the rent costs of the new building. This decision was made on the basis that not enough Wimblington residents had challenged the closure, however, residents understood the closure to be a temporary inconvenience for a new, bigger surgery. This appalling decision would have implications on Wimblington patients, especially the elderly and those without transport to travel to Doddington. Moreover, it would apply additional stresses on the services available at Doddington Medical Centre.
Upon hearing this news, I disputed this decision; holding meetings with Dr Simon Hambling Elizabeth Welcher, Doddington Medical Centre’s Practice Manager and Katie Norton, Director of Commissioning at East Anglia NHS England to discuss ways in which we could ensure a new GP surgery in Wimblington. The outcome of these meetings was positive and led to further discussions between the practice and East Anglia NHS England to ensure a new building would be built in Wimblington.
It is fantastic that the GP surgery is finally beginning to be built at North Witchford Lodge. It will not only be to the benefit of the 2,000 residents that will be registered there, but also those in Doddington which faced an increased strain on their services. Well done to Dr Hambling and his team for all their work in helping to ensure this went ahead.