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Proposed New Wincanton Health Centre

Thursday 1 January 1970, 01:00
By Press Release

Proposed New Wincanton Health Centre - Side ViewsThe doctors and staff of Wincanton Health Centre are delighted and excited to announce that proposals to develop new replacement premises are progressing after years of uncertainty.

Subject to land procurement, it is proposed to relocate to a new site within the New Barns Farm development adjacent to Wincanton Business Park and a planning submission is under consideration by South Somerset District Council and Wincanton Town Council.

Advanced negotiations are taking place between our preferred specialist surgery developer, Civils Ltd, and the land owner and residential developer, Abbey Manor.

The decision to relocate to this site has been taken after:

  • A lengthy search for a suitable site.
  • The completion of a site option appraisal exercise, which included members and officers of South Somerset District Council, Wincanton Town Council, South Somerset PCT, The Wincanton Patient Participation Group as well as doctors and staff of the Wincanton Health Centre.

Proposed New Wincanton Health Centre - Site Plan
Site plan for the proposed Health Centre behind Rochford's on the Business Park

An in depth feasibility study of the existing Health Centre in Carrington Way, which demonstrated that this building and site was unsuitable for expansion or redevelopment, for the provision of new Health Care Premises.

A further study was undertaken to integrate the Police Station site with the existing Health Centre. However despite additional land being available the overall site area and shape still failed to provide sufficient space for the new building size and further not only failed to provide additional and adequate parking but reduced the existing parking by two spaces.

In the meantime and despite an offer from the doctors' specialist developer to purchase the Police Station the Police Station has now been sold to a Funeral Director.

Benefits to the moveThe benefits of relocating are numerous but include:

  • Flexibility to cater for changes in Health Care Service Provision.
  • The provision of additional Health Care Services such as more minor operations and chronic disease clinics, family planning services, patient information and health promotion activities to name but a few.
  • Controlled and dedicated car parking for patients, staff and visitors with adequate disabled parking.
  • Future expansion provision to accommodate changes to Health Care for at least the next twenty five years.

The short comings of the existing Health Centre are well documented and include:

  • Insufficient rooms for doctors, nurses and staff.
  • Insufficient facilities, including space, to train future clinical staff including GPs.
  • Clinical rooms that are below recommended Department of Health sizes.
  • Inability to comply with latest infection control criteria.
  • Poor patient control, flow and confidentiality.
  • Failure to comply with Disability Discrimination Acts.
  • Limited facilities for clinics and health promotion.
  • Limited patient information area.
  • No expansion space.

The building is over thirty years old and is too small to meet current requirements and demands.

Wincanton Town Map

The proposed site, being part of the New Barns development, has excellent access both in terms of vehicular and pedestrian with numerous footpath links planned for quick and easy access to the Town Centre.

It is hope that planning permission will be granted in March and construction work commences in late April/early May with completion likely 2011.

More details of the proposal, including floor plans and designs, are available for inspection at the Health Centre.

Proposed New Wincanton Health Centre - Ground Floor Plan

Proposed New Wincanton Health Centre - First Floor Plan




19th February 2010

Dear Editor,

I cannot agree wholeheartedly with the petition to stop the building of the new health centre. We must be careful that whilst we are arguing about its location we may lose funding to some other areas and not get a new health centre at all. It appears that the new health centre will provide extra services that we do not at present enjoy in Wincanton and have to travel to Yeovil for them. For example I recently had to travel to Yeovil for outpatient treatment. With extra facilities I can imagine a day clinic being organised in the new centre so sparing me the journey.
Whilst I agree that some elderly people can walk to the present health centre, this is only a small proportion of the elderly population in the town and outlying areas. Most people have access to a car.

Name withheld

19 February 2010

Dear Editor,

On looking at the plans and reading the press release this does sound like a fait accompli, or at least probably too far into the planning to be anything else. It seems to have been sprung on most of Wincanton at a very advanced stage, and the public meeting should have happened long before now. And the whole thing does appear to be of advantage to the doctors without much thought for the convenience of the public whom they are there to serve and who pay their generous salaries.

The doctors and their dependents are unlikely to be affected by lack of private transport, wherever they wish to go. To jump into the car is second nature. But they are more privileged than many, and the people who have the main need of their services are the elderly, and parents with young children, many of whom have no car and cannot afford taxis, and who will no longer be able to walk to the Health Centre.

It does seem that the new building will be for the benefit of people who will eventually be living in the as-yet-undeveloped part of the town - who will probably not include the elderly. For the residents of the present town the proposed Health Centre could hardly be in a less convenient place. Extra parking, yes - though parking for the present Health Centre, opposite a large public car park, never seems to have been a problem. But ... reliable bus service at convenient times? Ease of access from the town for mothers with no car, and babies in buggies? Convenience for people in retirement homes and sheltered housing in the town, who at present are able to take a short walk to see a doctor?

A considerable number of concerned residents have already signed a petition to protest at what is envisaged, and the list grows. This does not indicate any kind of approval. How long since such a protest has happened in Wincanton? People do feel very strongly, and do not share the 'delight and excitement' of the doctors at their new premises; if there were another practice in the town we suspect many would join it, but unfortunately there is a monopoly.

The other concern is the dying of the centre of the town, whose focus will now be housing for elderly residents, with a funeral parlour as their view; death rather than help to live. And patients from villages (with cars!) who would come to the Health Centre and do their shopping in town, will now feel it is easier to do the lot in the same area, at Morrison's or Lidl. How many of the doctors actually live in Wincanton; how many of them see its life as important? They should certainly not be assisting in its death.

Name withheld

21 February 2010

Dear Editor,

On balance I am supportive of the new Health Centre. I don't think there is much doubt that the facilities have the potential to be better. Some people, including the elderly will be somewhat disadvantaged and that is to be regretted. But many of the more mature members of the community will still be able to get to the new surgery fairly easily and in some cases it may avoid a trip to Yeovil in the future.

Name withheld

23 February 2010


The new proposed site for the Health Centre has raised concern amongst a large proportion of the town – and provided a focal point for discussion, which, in itself, I feel is a positive thing.

However, due to my being in a position to hear lots of rumour, speculation and gossip, I feel that there are several issues that need to be aired and addressed – and probably in many cases refuted entirely.

  1. The public meeting to be held on March 12th is only taking place after the full planning meeting has taken place on March 10th – this rather defeats the object of having a public meeting other than as a propaganda exercise.
  2. The architect involved in drawing up the key site plans advised the contractor that the plan would be looked upon more favourably if it incorporated a community-based building – such as a new health centre - leading them to offer the land at a price that made it impossible, financially, for our doctors to go anywhere else.
  3. With regard to the above, the health trust, the planning department and the contractor have been hand in glove since day one with an agenda that suits their purposes rather than the town's requirements.
  4. If the health centre doesn't re-locate to the new site, they are likely to lose the funding they have allocated and so we will lose the benefit of the added services that this new centre will bring to the town.
  5. If the new centre is approved and built, the additional services offered will lead to additional funding, thus making the centre more profitable. And as the doctors are shareholders, it they who will benefit the most.
  6. As we have just acquired a new NHS dental practice in town, why can't we try to encourage a new doctor's practice to take over the current site?

As I said, these are based on rumour, speculation and gossip. However, they are all pertinent points that should be addressed and, had the parties involved been more open in the first place, probably would never have arisen.

Name withheld

24 February 2010

Dear Editor

As the person who started the Petition, I feel it necessary to add my personal views to this matter.

I first heard about the proposed relocation after the Town Council Meeting in January. I was as surprised as the majority of the local population that the plans were to completely relocate the existing premises & not to leave any facility in the town centre.

However, unlike the majority of people who just talked about the negative issues, I felt something needed to be done; after all complaining quietly doesn't achieve anything.

I decided to take the bull by the horns & create the Petition so the local community could speak out about the plans. To date over 900 signatures have been collected.

My personal view is that I am not against the building of the new Health Centre on the Key Site. In fact the facilities that it will provide are needed by our rapidly growing town & will save us all the inconvenience of having to travel further afield to receive treatment.

My concern is that this vital facility is to be removed from the Town Centre, thus creating difficulties for the elderly, infirm, young mothers & those without their own transport.

My views seem to be shared by most of the people that have taken the time to sign the Petition. Everyone is asking why we cannot have both, the new Health Centre & a Doctor & Practice Nurse based in town, along with other Health Professionals that provide a valuable support system for the local community.

Lucy Hurt

26 February 2010

Oops! It seems we had the location of the proposed new medical center marked incorrectly on the map. The map has now been updated to show the accurate proposed location, now marked with a red cross.

Apologies for any confusion this may have caused.

Dave Smith

7 April 2010

My fear regarding the new health center, my aunt June Cother can at present hop on her buggy and motor up the hill to the existing clinic in almost all weather conditions, as needed. I wonder if the batteries will need recharging when visiting the proposed site, seriously tho, why so far out of the town center? As a constant visitor to your beautiful town, I am wondering why the old Cow and Gate premises could not have been renovated to lessen the eye sore it is.....and be still close to the town center? I fear for the young mums, and elderly of which Wincanton has an abundance....they will not receive medical attention when needed due to the new proposed location being too far to travel.

Bonny Cother


Posts: 1
Stop complaining!
Reply #1 on : Wed September 22, 2010, 02:39:25
Yes those doctors andd their dependents are so selfish aren't they?! No thought given to those without a car and expecting people to walk an extra 5 minutes beyond Morrisons (Which they must have to walk to anyway with no car).

Walking from the current site to the business park takes 15 minutes maximum and unless you live right next door, you proably live even closer, perhaps just 10 minutes?!

Whilst yes it may be more difficult for the elderly to walk to the new site; walking this short extra 5-10 minutes will actually be more beneficial to the general public. Walking improves health therefore less need to visit the doctor in the first place.

But yes, damn those greedy doctors for trying to meet the needs of a growing town...selfish!

Think people!

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