A Grantham surgery has added a £350,000 extension to its town building in preparation for a population explosion in the town and big changes in the healthcare system over the next five years.
Work on Vine House Surgery, in Vine Street, is almost complete with three new consulting rooms and a new treatment room in an extension to the back of the Grade II listed building. Existing consulting rooms have been given a big makeover with two more on the first floor and a conference room on the top floor, all upgraded to meet the strict criteria set by the Care Quality Commission.
The surgery currently has a list of about 7,300 patients, but the new extension means an increase in patients to 12,000 is now possible.
Senior partner at the surgery Dr David Baker said space at the surgery was at a premium before the expansion.
He said: “We were really struggling.
“It’s a lovely building but it had become unsuitable for a modern general practice. Every room has needed an upgrade.
“We simply ran out of space. We were having to change clinic times and there was a lot of room-hopping but now everybody has their own room.”
The surgery has just advertised for another doctor to join the three working at the surgery, together with four nurse practitioners. Last week, a further 25 patients were added to the list.
Dr Baker said the practice could now accommodate an extra 5,000 patients over a period of five to 10 years, during which time the town is likely to see a sharp rise in its population.
The extra space afforded by the expansion means the practice can take on a community physiotherapist and has the facilities to carry out minor operations. At the moment, the surgery refers patients for physio to Grantham Hospital, but soon this will be able to take place at the surgery.
Major changes over the next five years will mean more healthcare taking place in doctors’ surgeries and at home in a bid to relieve pressure on hospitals.
Dr Baker said: “I think healthcare is moving towards a smaller number of bigger surgeries and I suspect we will join together to provide services across the patch.”
Dr Baker added that he was really pleased with the new extension and said he was grateful to the architect, Bruce Watt, and Historic England, who helped pave the way for the extension on to the listed building with the support of the district council. He thanked the South West Clinical Commissioning Group for its support of the business case.