I read with some interest your article on the closure of the gate between the Sleaford Medical Group and Gohils. I handed in a letter, that concurs with Nimu Gohil concerning the problems posed by drivers and pedestrians by its closure and as for North Kesteven District Council trying to broker a solution astounds me. They surely have the authority to instruct the SMG on any remedial actions required to ensure the safety of pedestrians.
I note, with some concern that the gate between the SMG and adjoining property is to remain closed quoting the recent car park improvements and health and safety issues behind the decision. Having had cause to attend surgery, along with my wife recently, I would question that decision as being against the best interests of the patients. In fact I feel the closure of the gate actually puts those entering and leaving the site via Boston Road, on foot, at a considerably higher risk now that the gate is closed.
During the works there was obviously some consideration given to those patients who had to walk to and from the surgery, hence the dedicated walkways indicated by the ‘walking-man’. Patients exiting the surgery can either go left towards the river whilst those taking the right hand designated pathway are protected by barriers up to the emergency ambulance area. My concern is that closure of the gate forces those entering/leaving the practice by this second walkway to walk alongside vehicles with no protection whatsoever, the danger being particularly high when two vehicles are using the driveway at the same time.
The position of the Emergency Ambulance area is also quoted as one of the reasons for closing the gate. Prior to the closure, use of the gate gave those entering/leaving the practice a safe designated walkway (on the other side of the wall) from and to the Boston Road.
Is it not the case that any call for an ambulance would be generated from within the practice?
In which case would it not be part of the surgery’s operating protocol for a member of staff to meet the ambulance and direct the paramedics to the emergency on their arrival? That member of staff could be used to control members of the public across the ‘danger area’ during these occasional occurrences. Quoting the health and safety legislation as reason for the decision to close the gate - I would ask what health and safety legislation allows for the provision of a walkway that leads pedestrians into a hazardous area?
Would it not also be the case that the ambulance would be required to allow sufficient room between the vehicle and the building for access into, out of, the rear of the ambulance?
Solution – Re-painting a defined clearway alongside the building joining the end of the path with the pedestrian path adjoining the gate would afford those entering or leaving the premises with a defined and safe walkway. Ensure procedures define those actions to be taken by staff to ensure the safety of pedestrians in the event of an emergency ambulance