An Isle of Wight doctors’ surgery is struggling to operate out of its current practices and is a ‘huge risk of causing health inequalities’, a councillor fears.
Raising the issue at an Isle of Wight Council meeting yesterday (Wednesday), Cllr Martin Oliver, the representative for Mountjoy and Shide, highlighted how Newport Health Centre was bursting at its seams.
The practice, which formed following the merger of Dower House Surgery and Carisbrooke Health Centre in 2019, has more than 24,000 patients on its books.
It operates from two sites, on Carisbrooke High Street and the centre of Newport.
Cllr Oliver said:
“The lack of appropriate site has had a huge risk of causing health inequalities as the practice struggles to fit the services they need.”
He said the practice has been trying to work with the council for more than three years to find an alternative location and called for the council leader, Cllr Phil Jordan, to help it obtain the only site that is viable for a new facility, on Godric Road.
Plans to move the health centre to the site near Asda were first heard in public two years ago as the Carisbrooke facility was deemed ‘unfit for purpose’ and the former practice partners at Dower House wanted to sell the Pyle Street property.
Contractors Assura had been engaged to find and develop a state-of-the-art building with a large car park and favoured the Isle of Wight Council-owned space on Godric Road.
In 2021, fears had been raised that the out-of-town site would be challenging to access for some residents who do not drive or would have to get two buses to get treatment.
Cllr Jordan said he had already met the practice but pledged to do so again and said he was committed to trying to find a solution for the problem as it was important to local communities.
Cllr Geoff Brodie, the Pan and Barton representative, said Newport councillors had been seriously concerned about the practice as a premises as it was affecting the healthcare people were receiving.