Under-pressure surgery submits plans for extension

The East Norwich Medical Partnership Aslake Close surgery in Sprowston

The East Norwich Medical Partnership Aslake Close surgery in Sprowston - Credit: Google Maps

A surgery which is so swamped with patients it saw a man lying in its lobby in protest could get a much-needed extension. 

The NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is holding talks over how to expand capacity at Sprowston Primary Care Centre in Aslake Close.

The plans to extend the East Norwich Medical Partnership centre are not expected to be formally published until November.

But Norwich North MP Chloe Smith has already expressed her support given the number of patients raising concerns over struggles to book an appointment. 

Ms Smith said: “I have been campaigning for the right level of doctor and dentist provision for the people who live here now and in the future, as homes are built in our area.

"This is coming good as there are now plans in Sprowston for an extension to the doctor’s surgery.”

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Neil Didsbury.

The East Norwich Medical Partnership, which includes the Aslake Close surgery and Thorpe Health Centre in St. Williams Way, has recently come under fire over its staffing levels and waiting lists. 

One patient laid down in the lobby of the Sprowston surgery earlier this month after he had struggled to speak to a receptionist at Thorpe Health Centre.

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A spokeswoman for the NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG said: "The CCG has been supporting the discussions around increased primary care capacity in Sprowston.

"Work is currently underway to take into account issues like population and housing growth and the health needs of the local community.”

Steve Streeter, an East Norwich Medical Partnership patient, contacted the Evening News to say he has struggled to get a face-to-face appointment, or even get into reception, in recent months. 

Mr Streeter said it took him three months to see a doctor at the Thorpe surgery for his serious back injury. 

"Many times I tried, like all the other patients to contact them, by lengthy phone queues, letters, emails, visiting the surgery and their website which was all a complete waste of time," the patient said. 

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) confirmed patients of East Norwich Medical Practice have shared concerns with them over accessibility. 

It continues to monitor the service closely.