Sidmouth Health Centre premises ‘worst’ in East Devon

PUBLISHED: 07:54 23 May 2011 | UPDATED: 15:21 23 May 2011

HEALTH CENTRE CALL: (L to R) Practice manager Rob Spargo and GPs Dr Ross Dell and Dr Duncan Hall.

HEALTH CENTRE CALL: (L to R) Practice manager Rob Spargo and GPs Dr Ross Dell and Dr Duncan Hall.

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GPs’ plea as patients are ‘treated out of cupboards’

DOCTORS have called for Sidmouth to be handed a brand new health centre after the town’s current practice premises were ranked the ‘worst’ in East Devon.

GPs say they are providing a first-class service from a “woefully inadequate” and “dilapidated” base where cramped conditions see patients ‘treated out of cupboards.’

Sidmouth Health Centre was rated the most under-sized in the region in NHS Devon Primary Care Trust (PCT) statistics- coming a rock-bottom 13th out of 13 in the region.

Practice partners and its manager this week revealed plans to completely rebuild the Blackmore Drive centre- and adjoining Sidmouth Library - have been left in limbo for more than a decade.

They want the bid to get a ‘kick-start’ from a slice of £1.5million on offer from the developer intent on replacing the Fortfield Hotel with apartments.

The health centre won’t receive a single penny from huge housing projects in Stowford that will add up to 700 new residents to the town’s population.

“We’ve expanded into every conceivable space and have completely outgrown this building,” said Dr Duncan Hall.

“Others have been redeveloped and we’ve been left behind.

“When we had diabetic screening, I came out of my consulting room and there was an eye chart on the back of my door. I had to limbo dance under it to get out.

“Our nurses’ space is a boot room and we have a cupboard that’s been turned into an office.”

“The town is getting bigger rapidly and we’re providing more services. This practice is congested on a daily basis,” added Dr Ross Dell.

“This building is woefully inadequate. It’s antiquated, under-sized and dilapidated. Access is dreadful. We need premises 60 to 70 per cent bigger.”

Practice manager Rob Spargo told the Herald: “We provide a first-class service from very inadequate resources. This is the worst building but its one of the best services.

“A new centre would re-energise the whole team and improve the morale of staff and patients. People are working, and patients are being treated, in very cramped conditions.”


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