The New Unity Health Kimberlow Hill Surgery!

By Scott Dawson

Residents in Osbaldwick, Badger Hill and Heslington and the University will be gaining a new doctors surgery offering patients improved treatment rooms, reception, waiting areas and car parking.

This new surgery will replace the current cramped premises on Hull Road and Heslington West. In the mean time, the Wenlock Terrace surgery will go through a full refurbishment.

In July 2015 the City of York Council gave the project full planning permission but the build was unable to proceed without the necessary NHS approval. Ben Leatham and Scott Dawson have been working with Unity Health to apply pressure to both the Council and local NHS CCG committees to emphasise the need for funding.

We are pleased to say that the work is already under way and the building is due to begin next month, with completion estimated for December 2016.

The surgery will provide greater opportunities for the delivery of better integrated services with community providers, as well as secondary care.

Unity Health Managing Partner, Louise Johnston has told us that, ‘the new building will allow more clinical space and this, in turn, will allow the Practice to improve patient access to a wider variety of services to contribute to their overall care.’ This will be a larger, modern, purpose built facility for all patients.

Some important information regarding this move:

-  The transition has to be instantaneous. In other words there will be no disruption to service. The plan is for the campus surgery to close on a Friday evening during December, with the Kimberlow Hill Surgery opening the following Monday.

- The same receptionists, GP’s, Nurses will all continue to work at the new site.

- However there will be added support on top of this, for instance the management team for Unity Health will be moving to this new surgery from their old location in Wenlock Terrace.
 

-  If you combine the current consultation rooms of the Campus and Hull Road surgery, the total consultation rooms stands at 9. At the new Hes East surgery, this will increase to 16.
 

- We have already had strong conversations with Unity Health to focus their extra services around sexual and mental health providers, such as YorSexualHealth and IAPT.
 

-  We are looking to dramatically improve accessibility to this site for local residents and students alike.

-  There is a high likelihood (although not confirmed) that a pharmacy will also be placed in this new site, increasing provisions.
 

-  The ‘Stay and Wait’ drop in session will at the very least remain in its current form at the new surgery. However there is a lot of scope to dramatically increase provisions here.

It is on this final point that it’s important to stress that we are already looking to put students first in order to provide input and thoughts into the final designs of the site. For instance, if students via the Patient Participation Group (PPG) decide they would like more stay in wait provisions, Unity Health have discussed the possibility of introducing afternoon sessions at the new site.

There will obviously be teething problems surrounding a sudden transition and it is pivotal that we get accessibility and provisions right for our students. For example we have already spoken about ensuring that the reception space is larger, allowing for greater privacy for students booking appointments and making inquiries.

With that in mind we are holding our termly student PPG meeting on Wednesday Week 10 this term 2pm-3pm location to be confirmed. Here we will have Unity Health representatives looking for student input into the new site.

Following that we will hold a follow up PPG meeting early in Summer Term (Week 2 or 3). Finally following exam season we are looking into doing an open forum meeting for all students to attend in order to address any pressing concerns prior to the start of the summer holidays.

All information regarding the Week 10 PPG meeting will be up soon.

This project has been worked on via the past 3 generations of Sabbs, so it is brilliant to see the work finally beginning and improving the support we need for our students and all local residents in York.