Parking concerns persist as flagship health scheme is complete
The first patients will be treated at the new Nelson Health Centre tomorrow (April 1) following the completion of the flagship health project.
The new centre, built on the site of the former Nelson Hospital in Kingston Road, Merton Park, incorporates the facade of the original building, which dates back to 1912.
But the old hospital has been replaced by a modern facility, purpose-built to deliver more services in the community. The aim is that it will provide better healthcare closer to home for Merton residents.
The centre will provide GP services, outpatient appointments, therapy services, services for older people, minor surgery and procedures, x-ray, ultrasound, blood tests and community mental health services. The services will be phased in from April 1-7.
Adam Doyle (left), Deputy Chief Officer of Merton Clinical Commissioning Group, said the new centre aimed to carry out 10,000 'procedures' on patients each year.
The new GP centre in the building - the Nelson Medical Practice - formed from the merger of the Church Lane Surgery in Merton Park and Canon Hill Lane Medical Centre, will open on April 7. It will become the largest GP practice in Merton, catering for 20,000 patients.
While local politicians welcomed the scheme at an official launch today (March 31), there are still concerns about the effect on local parking. There is a car park with 67 spaces (see right), but 2/3rds of those are for staff.
Merton Park Ward Residents' Association Councillor John Sargeant said: "The centre will be great for the community and I'm pleased it's been built to incorporate 21st century technology.
"But the parking is bad around here and it is bound to make the situation worse. The analysis we have undertaken based on the expected throughput suggests that it will be inadequate. It remains to be seen what happens."
Health bosses later explained the Parking Management Strategy adopted for the Centre. See more on this link.
The Parliamentary candidates from the three main parties for the Wimbledon constituency were also at the event. Conservative candidate Stephen Hammond said: "It's a hugely impressive modern health facility that will benefit this part of the borough. The range of GP and outpatient services should mean quicker access to health services."
Lib-Dem candidate Shas Sheehan said: "It is important that they are emphasising mental health care as it needs to be brought out of the shadows and treated like physical health care. It's also significant that it's integrating health services under one roof. I hope it will work really well."
Andrew Judge, Labour's candidate, said: "It is good to see the Nelson opened after all the hard work of the last 10 years. It is a model for the integrated NHS we are aiming for, and I hope it will be the start of more integration - especially with social care."
Dr Howard Freeman, Chairman of Merton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "The opening of this magnificent facility in the heart of our community is a major step forward in our plans to make the right healthcare readily accessible to our local population.
"I am extremely proud of what we have all achieved and believe that The Nelson Health Centre will enable us to deliver the best possible care for more local people in their own community.
"I would like to thank Merton CCG staff, local clinicians, our partners providing the services here, constructors Rydon and South London Health Partnership and Community Health Partnerships who have made this happen."
(Pictured from left to right): Dr Shweta Singh, The Nelson Medical Practice (formerly of the Cannon Hill Lane Practice); Miles Scott, Chief Executive of St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Sarah Woropay, The Nelson Medical Practice (formerly of the Church Lane Medical Practice); Dr Howard Freeman, former Chair of Merton CCG; Maggie Gairdner, Divisional Director for Sutton & Merton Community Services; Eleanor Brown, Chief Officer of Merton CCG; Mark Clenaghan, Service Director at South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust.
The Nelson Local Care Centre is being funded through a NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust, a Private Public Partnership which has been developed with South London Health Partnerships Ltd.
March 31, 2015