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Securing A Site For A New GP Practice

It’s the moment many GPs can hope to look to the future. When it comes to a new site, the whole process goes beyond a choice of A, B or C.

Simply selecting a site by putting a pin in a map should never be an approach. What takes precedence is what a GP wants and looking longer term, how the surgery will grow and develop to cater for the needs of the community (as well as future income for a new surgery).

Every GP has to understand what they want from a potential new site and how it will provide a service to others. For instance a modest 8,000-person practice will need parking spaces for up to 80 cars. Those patients, who come to the site, need to have accessibility via transport links and ease of access (locating on a busy one way system, may not be the best approach).

There are a whole host of factors that need to be considered to create the flavour and scope of the land that is required.

Where Do You Start?

This is not a case of finding a space and making a knee jerk reaction. You should not shoe horn a surgery into a space to make the surgery fit the site. The longer term view and to achieve value for money has to be a site fitting the needs of the population.

Relocating in 10 to 20 years time can prove to be an extremely expensive exercise. If you can maintain and develop your current site, obtaining real value for money is achievable.

An Example

Milbourne Port Surgery, Somerset is a prime example of a surgery that has benefitted from considered planning and not necessarily going with planning department original recommendations.

The initial location identified by the planners was via a one-way system. From a conversation with doctors, town council members and other stakeholder groups, the discussion progressed to what the community wanted and must invite participation for those people who will be using the surgery and what they wanted from a new building.

Congestion would have been a problem if located within the town centre (and if situated within a one way system). Charles Higgins Partnership searched throughout the town for the most appropriate space and found a location that was not on the original proposal. The final location allowed vehicles to be kept out of the centre of town and a perfectly suited facility where GPs can respond easily during emergencies.

The Milbourne Port example is one that represents the importance of establishing a dialogue and listening to what people want. A ‘them’ and ‘us’ mentality cannot work in harmony.

The most important aspect to securing a new site is to work in partnership with communities and working alongside them to address the future. People need to know that they have an option to interact with the most appropriate people who will stand beside them.

Creating A Partnership

A collaborative approach is based on understanding the areas for GP growth and how to deliver a service that is suited for a community in the coming years. Planning with the future in mind has to be a key part of any discussion.

This all starts with a conversation. Call Jon on 01202 744990 or email jon@charleshiggins.co.uk so we can understand where your future fits.


“To end my working days in such a place considering that 31 years ago when I started we worked from two very small rooms. It’s been magnificent.”

Dr Geoff Walder, Retired Senior Partner, Lilliput Surgery, Sandbanks

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© 2013 Charles Higgins