Doctors seek backing for new Sidmouth health centre

Sidmouth doctors ask town councillors to back plans to redevelop health centre

SIDMOUTH doctors have asked town councillors to support their plans to redevelop its health centre.

Dr Duncan Hall says the redevelopment of the site, taking in the present library, “would be of major benefit for the whole of Sidmouth.”

The Blackmore surgery, built in 1969 jointly with the adjoining library, is, he says: “far too small and very antiquated.”

Originally designed for six doctors and a nurse, there are now 10 GPs, six nurses and five health-care assistants.

“We have converted every possible space, including a broom cupboard to accommodate all the necessary staff,” Dr Hall writes.

He said significant housing development would have an impact on health provision and by redeveloping the joint site and building a new library nearby, he hoped money might be forthcoming from the Fortfield site development.

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Councillors decided not to discuss the letter at its monthly meeting on Monday as a representative from the practice will address them at their August meeting.

However, Councillor Ann Liverton made it clear that 106 agreement money, made available from developers on some builds, was used for affordable housing, green open spaces and play areas and education.

“You need to put together a case asking for consideration towards health facilities. You need to show how much patient numbers are increasing before you can talk to planning about a 106 agreement.

“I don’t think it’s that easy,” she said.