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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Barrow 'super surgery' will cost £20m

SIX out of a town’s 10 GP practices are to move into a multi-purpose clinic, or super surgery, which will be a “one-stop shop” for patients.

The £20m health centre, on the former Alfred Barrow School site, will be open by 2016.

Burnett Edgar Medical Centre will remain on Walney and the three larger practices in Barrow – Norwood Medical Centre, Bridgegate Medical Centre and Duke Street Surgery – will also stay open.

The six other surgeries have indicated they wish to move into the super surgery.

As part of a new integrated way of working patients may not necessarily always see their own GP, but they will be seen quicker.

Discussing the proposals at a public meeting in Abbots Vale Community Centre, Furness’s lead commissioning GP, Dr Geoff Jolliffe, explained: “Doctors in the town are working flat out and the reason you can’t see a doctor is they’re full to spilling.

“But by working together there may be some things we can do in a collaborative way to ease pressure on the workload and that might mean doctors can see their own patients when they need to.

“When patients have mild to moderate injuries and accidents and ailments it’s not critical they see their own doctor.

“If we can get that work done in one part of the building that would release the doctors, who when they’re not doing that, would have time to see the patients with chronic physical and mental illness.”

Barrow was one of only three successful bidders out of 20 in the north of England to secure funding from NHS England.

Architects will demolish the extension and build the new centre around the original, listed building.

The site is big enough to serve the local population until at least 2036.

The health centre will house GPs alongside a core team of district nurses, occupational therapists, mental health nurses, counsellors, pharmacists and physiotherapists.

“It does work really well to the patient’s advantage,” added Dr Jolliffe.

“We’re very lucky we got the money. We had to fight for it but I think Barrow deserves it.”

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