County Council offices could be site of new health hub for Sleaford

Lincolnshire County Council offices, Sleaford. EMN-190904-135108001
Lincolnshire County Council offices, Sleaford. EMN-190904-135108001

A Sleaford GP has revealed his practice may become the centre of a ‘primary care hub’ for patients in the Sleaford area.

The Lincolnshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, made up of various healthcare organisations in the county, has been developing a way to cater for a growing population with stretched resources while trying to improve outcomes, involving reducing hospital stays and treating more people in the community.

This has looked at hospital sites and their future sustainability, mental health care, GP care, and help for people coming out of hospital.

The Healthy Conversations listening exercise has been launched with various events this year to seek people’s opinions on what shape this transformation should take.

Part of the proposals for the transformation sets out ambitions for a primary care hub for GP services, community nurses and health visitors, as well as social and mental health teams under one roof for a more joined-up service.

A Lincolnshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership spokesman said: “As part of our vision for estates improvement in Lincolnshire’s NHS, we have identified a number of areas we want to focus on, one of which is investment in primary care hubs, so that we can deliver the highest quality care to our patients. This work is at a relatively early stage.”

Dr Kesavapillai Vijayan, senior partner at Millview Medical Centre in Sleaford, says he has been approached by Clinical Commissing Group officials to consider becoming the heart of a Sleaford care hub.

He said: “All services would be amalgamated together - it would be wonderful.”

Dr Vijayan said the preferred location for this hub would be the site of the recently vacated county council offices on Eastgate. Council staff have mainly moved to the nearby joint fire and ambulance station.

He said: “There would be 11 consulting rooms. It is in the planning stage at the moment, but it is very exciting.”

Practice manager Marcus Griffin added that funding was not yet in place at this stage: “There is still a council building on the site and it is estimated that it would be three years to create from the point of getting approval, so it could be up to seven years down the line yet, and there is every chance it could fall through, however we do need the space. We have already run out of rooms in our extension at Heckington.”

Katie Gosling, the council’s Property Strategy Service Manager, said: “The buildings on Eastgate were previously used by the council as office space, and we have retained a small area for our use.

“We’re exploring other options for the long-term use of the site and buildings, including working with other public sector organisations.”

For information about the Healthy Conversation, visit www.lincolnshire.nhs.uk/healthy-conversation