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Frequently Asked Questions

 Health Centres

What are the benefits of the proposed health centres?

  • Many of the buildings are old or in converted houses and unable to achieve modern standards.
  • Many are too small to deliver medicine in the 21st century and benefit from the latest advancements in health care and in technology.
  • There’s a lack of space in waiting rooms, consultation rooms, and space for other services which help improve people’s health such as talking therapy, physio, and podiatry.
  • For some practices, owning property becomes a barrier to becoming a GP partner, especially in a deprived area.
  • We feel there are many possible benefits to building the new centres. This isn’t about new bricks and mortar but the opportunity to provide services in a better way. They will allow Sheffield to improve health facilities for local people and tackle health inequalities in the city. These include:
    • More space to attract and employ more staff
    • Carbon neutral – use less energy at a lower cost
    • Better ventilation – reduce the risk of infection
    • More accessible buildings – lighting, dementia friendly, visual impairment, disabilities, level access
    • Child waiting areas
    • Bigger and more spacious rooms:
    • A wider range of services - mental health support, physiotherapy, blood tests, and minor surgery, podiatry, wellbeing services
    • Spaces for community events and services – debt advice/ housing
    • Pods where people can access online services
    • Rather than patients travelling to services, services located nearer to patients
    • Treating the person, not the ailment by having the right services located together

 

 Why were these particular areas chosen for the health centres?

  • These parts of the city haven’t benefited from new funding for developing GP buildings for many years so many practice sites are in converted properties or in need of modernising.
  • The proposed locations are in some of the most deprived areas of the city and where people have the greatest health needs
  • We want to invest in these areas and £37m allows us to improve the health of local people.

 

Why isn’t my area benefiting from this money/a new health centre?

  • The plans were originally developed by GP practices working in local networks. It’s likely that practice/ practices in your area didn’t apply for funding.
  • The proposed locations are in some of the most deprived areas of the city and where people have the greatest health needs
  • We want to invest in these areas and £37m allows us to improve the health of local people.

 

What’s wrong with the current building, I like it?

  • Many of the buildings are old or in converted houses and unable to achieve modern standards.
  • Many are too small to deliver medicine in the 21st century and benefit from the latest advancements in health care and in technology.
  • There’s a lack of space in waiting rooms, consultation rooms, and space for other services which help improve people’s health such as talking therapy, physio, and podiatry.
  • For some practices, owning property becomes a barrier to becoming a GP partner, especially in deprived areas.
  • There are many possible benefits to building the new centres. This isn’t about new bricks and mortar but the opportunity to provide services in a better way. They will allow Sheffield to improve health facilities for local people and tackle health inequalities in the city. These include:
    • More space to attract and employ more staff
    • Carbon neutral – use less energy at a lower cost this is so important with rising energy costs and climate change.
    • Better ventilation – reduce the risk of infection
    • More accessible buildings – lighting, dementia friendly, visual impairment, disabilities, level access
    • Child waiting areas
    • Bigger and more spacious rooms:
    • A wider range of services - mental health support, physiotherapy, blood tests, and minor surgery, podiatry, wellbeing services
    • Spaces for community events and services – debt advice/ housing
    • Pods where people can access online services
    • Rather than patients travelling to services, services located nearer to patients
    • Treating the person, not the ailment by having the right services located together

 

Have public transport networks been considered in the location of the centre?

  • All the locations being explored are on good transport routes.
  • It is easier to move a bus route than find a plot of land to build on that is on a bus route.
  • The CCG was recently successful in getting a bus route changes so it went past Jordanthorpe Health Centre following the relocation of a practice.
  • A transport accessible assessment will be carried out before any decisions on locations are made. The findings will be shared as part of the consultation.

 

Will there be free parking at the centres?

  • Yes, as per planning guidelines there will be a certain number of spaces relative to the size of the building.

 

Why can’t the practices just remain as they are in their buildings and the centres be an additional building/resource?

  • Practices can and may choose to stay where they are after listening to the views of the public and considering what’s in the best interests of the practice.
  • There are strict government conditions on how the funding is spent and has to be used for the purposes laid out in the initial bid only. This includes offering value for money for taxpayers of Sheffield. It wouldn’t be affordable to build new health centres and keep all existing premises.
  • Since applying for the funding, the government has said that new buildings should be owned by the public sector, which means a GP practice that is an independent business cannot own the building.
  • In this case, that means that only these health centres can be built using this funding, we can’t use the money to build in other areas.

 

What additional services will be offered at the centres?

  • We don’t have any firm plans yet. This is being explored and we want to hear from the public on what services they would like to be located at a new health centre.
  • Lots of opportunities are being explored such as opportunities to locate council services with health and voluntary at locations that are accessible to local people.
  • The list of possibilities includes a wider range of health services for example mental health support, physiotherapy, blood tests, minor surgery, podiatry, wellbeing services and spaces for community events and services for example debt advice/ housing.
  • We want to know your ideas.

 

Will there be appointments at the centres on evenings and weekends?

  • The opening hours of the practices won’t necessarily change if the practice moves to a centre. The core opening hours may stay the same.
  • The centres could be open longer and on weekends for non-GP services such as mental health services, physio, debt advice and housing.
  • The services and opening times are still to be agreed upon.
  • The benefits of moving include sustainable services, being able to recruit more staff, sharing services and more space to run more services, so longer opening hours will be explored as part of the new model of care.

 

Will any hospital services be offered in the centres?

  • We don’t have any firm plans yet. This is being explored and we want to hear from the public on what services they would like to be located at a new health centre.

 

Will all the GP practices be in the same building? And will they still be individual practices or merging?

  • Practices are not being asked to merge.
  • If it goes ahead, the practices will remain as individual practices but in the same building.

 

Won’t these be empty buildings like the LIFT buildings?

  • Unlike LIFT, these buildings will be in public ownership to ensure value for money for the taxpayer.
  • This means it will be attractive for services to locate there with affordable rents and costs.

 

If patients have to travel further to access GP services, won’t this widen health inequalities/ worsen health?

  • Improving health inequalities is driving this work, and we won’t make any decisions that reduce health inequalities at a population level.
  • We know locating the right services together can improve health. For example, people who have poor mental health and have financial worries may benefit from having GP, therapy and debt advice in the same building.
  • We don’t have a firm plan on which services will go into the health centres, but mental health and debt advice are being considered.
  • Although it could be further to travel for face to face appointments to see GP or practice staff. It could be nearer for blood tests, council services, talking therapy, physio, podiatry, or debt management advice.

 

Isn’t this about saving money?

  • No, we have £37 million we’d like to invest in Sheffield to improve services and the health of local populations.
  • Any money saved by building new centres will be reinvested into better GP services

 

You haven’t left long to engage, are you genuinely interested in listening to the public?

  • We do want to hear people’s ideas and concerns about the proposed health centres and possible locations.
  • We know the timing is far from ideal. The delays in the government approving the funding due to the pandemic have squeezed the timetable including engagement and consultation activity.
  • We are working with community groups and holding public meetings to reach a wide range of people including those with the greatest health needs.
  • We’d love to hear any ideas you have for how we can reach people or any groups we’re missing.

 

You said you haven’t made a decision, yet for some centres, there is only one preferred location.

  • We’ve looked at all available land in the five areas. Some land and sites aren’t suitable as they aren’t big enough, accessible, won’t be available in time or are too expensive.
  • We carried out a thorough assessment of all possible sites.
  • The CCG and practices are only exploring the potential to move to the sites mentioned, no decision has been made on any location or on which practices will move – if any
  • If locations and buildings aren’t right for patients and practices, they won’t go ahead.
  • Decisions won’t be made until autumn 2022 we have assessed all potential options and heard from patients and the public in a consultation.

 

Who will own the buildings?

  • A condition of Sheffield receiving this money is that the buildings will be in public ownership. Sheffield City Council will own and run the buildings.
  • If practices move, they will lease the premises from the council, rather than own their own the building or rent from a private landlord as what happens now.

 

How were the plans developed?

  • These proposals originally came from GP practices working together in local networks.
  • The proposals were combined into a bid for Sheffield that led to the fundingfor the government.

 

Moving practices

I have COPD/I’m disabled and would find it difficult to go further – what if I can’t get there?

  • We are just exploring these options, no decisions have been made.
  • We are talking to patients as part of the engagement to understand people’s views and concerns, and this information will be used to shape the final options we consult on.
  • The consultation will look at the impact any service change will have on patients, particularly those with disability and will be considered before any decisions are made.
  • If options are agreed upon that impact on people, we will look at how to reduce or remove this impact.

 

I can walk to my practice now but if it moves will have a long bus journey – how am I supposed to find the additional time/money to get there?

  • We are just exploring these options, no decisions have been made.
  • We are talking to patients as part of the engagement to understand people’s views and concerns, and this information will be used to shape the final options we consult on.
  • The consultation will look at the impact any service change will have on patients, particularly those with a protected characteristic and will be considered before any decisions are made.
  • If options are agreed upon that impact on people, we will look at how to reduce or remove this impact.

 

Will I still be a patient at my current practice?

  • All patients will remain registered with their practice unless they wish to register at another practice.

 

Will I still get to see my own GP?

  • Practices aren’t being asked to merge. Patients will continue to see the same doctors, nurses, receptionists and other staff as now

 

Will it be harder for me to get an appointment as the centre will be bigger with lots more patients?

  • Practices aren’t being asked to merge, they will continue to run as individual practices. This means patients in practices also based in the building won’t be able to access your practice’s appointments and vice versa.

 

Our practice is great so why are you moving/changing it?

  • No decision has been made and practices are exploring the options of moving to a new location.
  • We feel there are many possible benefits to building the new centres. This isn’t about new bricks and mortar but the opportunity to provide services in a better way. They will allow Sheffield to improve health facilities for local people and tackle health inequalities in the city. These include:
    • More space to attract and employ more staff
    • Carbon neutral – use less energy at a lower cost
    • Better ventilation – reduce the risk of infection
    • More accessible buildings – lighting, dementia friendly, visual impairment, disabilities, level access
    • Child waiting areas
    • Bigger and more spacious rooms:
    • A wider range of services - mental health support, physiotherapy, blood tests, and minor surgery, podiatry, wellbeing services
    • Spaces for community events and services – debt advice/ housing
    • Pods where people can access online services
    • Rather than patients travelling to services, services located nearer to patients
    • Treating the person, not the ailment by having the right services located together

 

What will happen to the practice building as it is a big part of our community?

  • Working with practices, we are looking at options. No decisions have been made.

 

Branch practices

Will I be able to get an appointment at a branch practice of these practices like Flowers Health Centre?

  • Yes, only the GP practice sites that have been mentioned are considering moving. Their other branch practices would continue to operate from their current site. For Pitsmoor patients, they will still be offered appointments at Flowers, like now.

 

Will any practice staff lose their jobs?

  • No, if plans go ahead, practices with move to the new building with services and staff.
  • We hope the new increased space and opportunity to deliver more services will attract more staff to the area, not less.

 

Will I have to re-register with my practice?

  • All patients will remain registered with their practice unless they choose to register elsewhere.

 

Are there any alternative GP practices if I don’t want to go to the centre?

  • Yes, there are other practices in the area that people can register with. Please see maps for the nearest practices on the CCG website

 

Will patients be engaged with / have their say?

  • Yes, these plans are still at a very early stage. We want to hear from all patients about these practices so we can make the best decisions. If the plans progress, there will be further opportunities for local people to have their say before a final decision is made in autumn 2022.

 

Who is running the consultation and who makes the final decision?

  • Working with practices, NHS Sheffield CCG will run the consultation later this year. The final decision will be made by NHS South Yorkshire (the new commissioning organisation which is taking on commissioning responsibilities and will become the statutory organisation for Sheffield in July 2022).

 

When will a decision be made?

  • The current timetable is for a decision to be made in October 2022.
NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

Headquarters
722 Prince of Wales Road
Sheffield
S9 4EU

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