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Last Updated on 8th May 2023
Proposed new GP surgery for Winklebury and Manydown
Winklebury and Manydown Community Action Group (WMCAG) and the Winklebury councillors have been trying to persuade the NHS to provide health and wellbeing services in Winklebury for years. The Health Hub visited Sycamore Halls a few times to provide vaccinations and wellbeing checks and we hope to organise more health services in our community soon. Please post suggestions for the services that Winklebury needs most at the moment, so that we can include them in our discussions.
Fort Hill Surgery was closed at the start of the pandemic, because it was too small to enable social distancing. The surgery was then refurbished in summer 2021, but there was a leak from the flat above, so it couldn't be reopened. There were then numerous problems with the GP practice that ran the surgery and they were unable to staff the Winklebury surgery. We hope that some services will be provided soon, because we realise how valuable they are to Winklebury residents.
There are plans to build a new GP surgery to serve the residents of Winklebury and Manydown as part of the Winklebury Regeneration. We are very concerned that the proposed GP surgery is too small to provide the services that the residents need. Community health services are now provided by a range of health staff, including GPs, nurses, midwives, dieticians, occupational therapists, paramedics, physios and mental health professionals. The proposed 9 room surgery would be unable to house all of these services and we believe that the residents of Winklebury now and in the future deserve better.
In 2017-2019, Winklebury residents, WMCAG, Basingstoke and Deane Councillors, Hampshire County Councillors and the NHS worked together to develop a plan to build a GP surgery as part of a community hub, comprising a surgery, community facility (inc facilities for pre-school, youth, sports and other community initiatives) and public open space on Fort Hill. The council ditched that plan in 2019/2020 and replaced it with the current plans to build a small pre-school on Fort Hill, open space (but no other community facilities) on Fort Hill, a small GP surgery on the old Play Council site, and a small community centre (178sqm) under some flats in the Winklebury Centre. Sycamore Halls is in a poor state of repair, so it is likely that the small community centre will be Winklebury's only community centre in a few years' time. So far as WMCAG and the councillors can tell, the only reason for not providing the community hub (large community centre and surgery) on Fort Hill is money. We have suggested various sources of funding, but our suggestions have been ignored.
The current plans are likely to be taken to Basingstoke and Deane's Development Control Committee for approval over the next few weeks. We are doing everything that we can to persuade the Development Control Committee to reject the plans, so that we can work with the council to develop new plans for the community hub on Fort Hill. We need as much support from local residents as we can get to make it very clear to the Development Control Committee that Winklebury residents are very unhappy with the proposed small GP surgery and small community centre in the Winklebury Centre. If you agree that the proposed community centre and GP surgery are not what Winklebury residents want or need, please email the council at firstname.lastname@example.org quoting Planning Reference 22/01934/FUL Winklebury Regeneration. Your comments don't have to be long and complicated. They just need to state whether you believe that the proposals meet the needs of the Winklebury Community and, if not, why not.
WMCAG, five Basingstoke and Deane Borough Councillors, two Hampshire County Councillors, the Church of the Good Shepherd and Sycamore Halls have submitted a joint review of the proposed plans and a list of our concerns.
Please send your comments to the council as soon as you can, so that they can understand the views of the Winklebury residents about these plans and can't argue that they haven't received many comments from residents, so most people must be happy about them.