Shrewsbury health hub: Panel to be asked to assess options - but won't know possible locations

A group of councillors, GP practice representatives, health watchdogs and council officers will be asked to assess the options for a GP hub in Shrewsbury – although they won’t know the actual locations under consideration.

The meeting will be told about progress on the plans for the Shrewsbury GP hub.
The meeting will be told about progress on the plans for the Shrewsbury GP hub.

NHS Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin is set to update councillors on plans for the Shrewsbury Health and Wellbeing Hub at Monday’s meeting of Shropshire Council’s Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee. The plan for the hub would see six medical practices all moving into one new building – which would include also other health services.

The practices involved are The Beeches Medical Practice, Belvidere Medical Practice, Claremont Bank Surgery, Marden Medical Practice, Marysville Medical Practice and South Hermitage Surgery. Under the proposal all would remain individual, distinct practices.

Initially health bosses had proposed basing the building in the Meole Brace area, but after criticism and concerns over access and transport, they have been considering fresh sites. In the update for councillors they will be told of plans for a select group to assess the options – giving them a score to decide which is most suitable.

The group would include members of the project board, practice representatives, the health and adult social care overview scrutiny committee, the stakeholder reference group, Healthwatch, technical experts, senior officers from the council, and an external facilitator.

But, the paper says that those taking part will not be told what the locations are and will also have to sign a non-disclosure agreement to be allowed to take part.

In the meeting ‘technical experts’ will present findings, which those attending will be asked to consider – scoring the options on the details provided.

The report states: “To allow for complete objectivity the sites will not be named at this stage of the workshop. The process will be to discuss the facts of each of the shortlisted options and consider what could be considered as more suitable than others, and have an evidence trail in place to support this process.”

The workshop is due to take place in May, but the group is being consulted not to take a final decision, but to provide a recommendation for health bosses to consider.

Those behind the proposal have argued that new, ‘state of the art’ premises, would help retain and attract GPs – providing better services for patients.

A ‘case for change’ put forward with the plan stated: “The proposal for a health and wellbeing hub in Shrewsbury is primarily aimed to alleviate the pressures we are currently facing in general practice but also in secondary care, as well as to place the onus on the needs of services being available within a local community that would benefit from national investment.

“Modern, high-quality GP services in Shrewsbury would provide a more holistic approach to health and wellbeing in a state-of-the-art building. It would also help to support retention and recruitment of our skilled health professionals who would be working in an active and dynamic environment.”

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