Health Centre Changes

edited December 2012 in Health Centre
The proposed site for the new Health Centre has now changed from the land behind the Fire Station down to Cook's Shipyard. This has been confirmed by Cllr Julie of Young of Essex County Council.

Realise Health Ltd has agreed terms on a unit, subject to planning permission. Discussions about this have already started with Sue Jackson, the Principle Planning Officer at Colchester Borough Council. A new pharmacy is understood to be part of the plans.

Wivenhoe Town Council agreed to discuss this behind closed doors at the last public meeting back in September.



  • Hmmm, that's going to upset a lot of people.

    Still think the Cedrics site would have been ideal an accessible to all residents up and down the town as its on a major bus route.

    The closest bus stop will require quite a walk for residents without a car.

    Thank goodness for the very kind folk at Wivenhoe Helping Hands, they will become very busy.
  • Wivenhoe Town Council agreed to discuss this behind closed doors

    What is all the secrecy about? Why was this disussion held behind closed doors.
    Wivenhoe has been waiting for a new health centre for years and now it is going to
    be 'units' in the middle of an overcrowded area with no public transport or parking.
    Is this a joke?
  • I wonder whether the units referred to are the unsold ones next to the wet dock or if this is in a new building- presumably where the offices are proposed to be built, between the dingy park and the sailing club. It is much more likely to be the latter I think. Either way, seems ridiculous for access purposes.
  • existing unit or empty business space unlikely to be let current economic climate means cheaper rent etc more profits to bump up the already very high doctor salaries - customer/patient access is not a priority - make most money from those they never see - income but no expense with those

    if you a seriously ill/terminal/disabled maybe needing more assistance you try get on a doctor's list

    even if on list appointments etc not always easy and tell you go drop in centre at hospital - so they get the income but other the work/costs

    who said doctors were a service ...
  • What a joke. They'll need a lot of parking and also the roads in that area won't be able to cope with more traffic.

    Will the site actually be any larger than the current one.
  • Given the importance of the new Health Centre to the community, the people of Wivenhoe should be told the reasoning behind this scheme.  It is hard to see how the health needs of a community of more than ten thousand people can be met by this proposal.
  • Will they be routing a bus service down to the new centre? It will be difficult to reach otherwise. It does not make sense to put an health centre which will be used by the majority at the edge of town.

    Are there any plans to build more houses down that way in future, so that the health centre is in the centre of Wivenhoe?

  • edited October 2012
    Interesting to note that a new pharmacy is understood to be part of the plans.

    As recently as 2010 the arguments about whether Wivenhoe needs a new pharmacy were aired here:

    Two years ago the North East Essex Primary Care Trust was of the opinion:
    "...that there is already adequate provision of pharmaceutical services within the neighbourhood through the existing pharmacy."
    and also said:
    "...that there was no further evidence to suggest that the existing provider would not be able to
    service an increase in demand."

    So I suppose the two questions that this raises are:-

    1) Is it likely that the North East Essex Primary Care Trust has had a change of mind and now thinks two pharmacies in Wivenhoe are required after all?


    2) Will the new pharmacy simply replace the present one, and Wivenhoe will still have one pharmacy, but in a different location?
  • Gazette article from our chief reporter (I'm clearing my desk as have two days off tomorrow/Friday).

    As a reminder we're always looking for your letters: - people on the forum always have interesting things to say!

  • Well, while everybody is chipping in with their reasons why it's a bad idea for them....

    I'm delighted. It means I can feasibly see the doctor and be on the train to work within 10 minutes. Likewise it will be very useful for anyone wanting a post work appointment.

    Perhaps there should be parking for the disabled and elderly only. Most of us are told to get more exercise when we're at the doctors anyway.

  • As much as I am sure some people will be pleased. It doesn't help the elderly who can't drive who probably need to visit the GP more regulary.
  • Horses for courses I guess. I'm sure the elderly population South of the Co-op will be delighted that they won't have to get the bus to see the GP anymore. Putting the surgery opposite The Flag would have moved it further away from a greater proportion of Wivenhoe.

    Yes there would have been more parking but we should encourage less car use in town.

  • I guess it will be the grey building which is between the boat park and the backs of plots 93-96. It has 13 allocated parking spaces and then there are the additional 26 visitors spaces, but these are supposed to accomodate visitors to boat park, houses and the waterfront generally I think.
  • I don't suppose this news will have filled the *good folk* of Wivenhoe Helping Hands with joy.
    High kerbs, no vehicular access (if it's going to be where we think it is), narrow approach roads alternatively unmade roads- all far more difficult for people who need WHH services in the first place.

    As to the 'behind closed doors' business, I can only think that it was politically embarrassing- which is held to be NOT a valid reason for going in camera in authorities to which the rules apply...which doesn't include WTC.
  • edited October 2012

    First the cycle path funding for "up top" is, well, "iffy" then this....

    Whats the REAL agenda for this area one wonders...and why do we always find out from other sources ? (mushrooms in the dark ?)
  • cycle path land needed primarily and previous new surgery location planned both current same land owner yes i think - coincidence or not relevant ???

    the paranoid conspiracy theorists may disagree
  • i know of few and actually met even less councillors etc here (those i briefly met or had dealings with generally surprised me in a good way their attitude and efforts to help me within their 'job' spec)

    maybe not the same here but ...

    all i know is from my last residence and work areas one would find lots coincidences of personnel/connections between officials/representatives and strange local policies/plans/permissions granted or refused until one looked at main protagonists and followed links etc then a lot would sometimes become very quickly a lot less grey and in several cases made the media anyway as all a bit suspect too many things too many times
  • edited October 2012
    Well waddaya know. : Realise Heatlh Ltd had it all figured out for the Colchester Rd location.

    I may have missed that bit of information before, but is this now all to be scrapped? The latest update on their site is from February this year.
  • lizliz
    edited October 2012
    That is absolutely absurd ... the narrow streets can't cope with the traffic as it is. And are they planning to change the bus route - maybe some double-deckers wobbling up and down Angelsea Road. Oh, and how about throwing in an Asda down there too - yes, and a multistorey car park? Anyone fancy anything else? Perhaps with a little more council brilliance we can get everything to come to a standstill and the whole population of Wivenhoe slides - splat - into the river?

    Step forward - all those who are responsible for this unbelievably stupid decision.
  • Oh of course - it's a private company. I bet there's a bit of a profit things going on here.
  • edited October 2012
    There will be an official Council press release which I support because of the situation.  However, this Councillor is going to stick his neck out as an individual.  My comments do not necessarily represent the official response of the Council.

    However, as a member of that group of volunteers who do their best I feel obliged to stand up to some comments. They have spent a lot of time trying to help find a solution. They support the need for a Centre and have done their best to help seek that solution with somewhat tied hands. Rock and a hard place comes to mind.

    If we were paying the piper we could call the tune.WTC are consulted but are not in a position to make or break a final decision.WTC was asked not to discuss in public the situation whilst negotiations were taking place. There are concerns that if a decision is not made the Centre could be lost, so we are told.

    I understand that very few people use the bus to attend the surgery by the way.  Access will be a nightmare but safer than crossing a busy main road and top enders might discover we have a river!

    As a Helping Hands volunteer I know we will be called upon more for lifts and will almost certainly not be able to meet demand because of shortage of volunteer drivers.  A proper transport lift system will be needed. The top of the town was just as far away for residents at the bottom as the new proposed site will be for those, the majority by the way, at the top.

    The visitors parking spaces at Cooks will soon be pay and display. They are intended for visitors, not the Surgery or Cooks residents. Cooks site is a nightmare for access, exacerbated by the inconsiderate on street parking by residents too lazy to use their designated spaces.

    Should it have been at Cedrics.  In my view, always yes, but once that site had planning permission for residential it went beyond affordability we are told.  WTC tried but couldn't stop that residential planning consent.(Wish the Co Op would buy it!)

    Do we want three more expensive houses at Cooks, or commercial units they can't sell, or a medical centre? Think on it a bit folks.

    Am I happy about it?  The Jury is out. It could be better than the one we haven't got. What amuses me is that in spite of restricted information, the good old Wivner rumour machine has foiled the system, everyone knows and I haven't grassed...

    Love it!!!!

    Of course doctors and patients are not noisy.  I add that to lighten this, because you won't believe it but the Council has had another complaint about the Church bells on Sunday morning. Must be from a townie.  I'm thinking of getting a cockerel!  At least the complainant won't have far to go for sleeping pills!

  • "Cooks site is a nightmare for access" You're right.
  • edited October 2012
    Received from Mayor Cllr Penny Kraft of Wivenhoe Town Council:

    "Wivenhoe Town Council soundly supports Realise Health Ltd. and the Wivenhoe surgery in their quest for a new medical centre in Wivenhoe. Whilst understanding that this initiative has been plagued with setbacks, the council remains supportive of the pursuit for a suitable site."
  • You can read all about the profit making company and its shareholders who took decisions behind closed doors when choosing the most 'suitable' site for your centre here:
    This is what happens when chunks of the NHS is privatised. The aim is profit over the people's needs, reached via secret non-democratic decision-making.
    And we now know who the council support - the private company and not the people of Wivenhoe.
    By the way, we'll be losing commercial units for start-ups too. I thought plans for Cooks were only passed because they promised units for small businesses?

  • edited October 2012
    Does anyone know anything about ahsleyhouseplc? It seems that this company is possibly involved in the deal as well.

    I note that the Chief Exec of RHL is also the Development Director at ashleyhouseplc.
  • Finally, I would like to ask Wivenhoe Council and Realise these questions:
    1) What margin of profit will be made to the companies involved in choosing the Cooks site over the original planned site?
    2) What are your thoughts on the very limited access to Cooks: a) an unmade road without footpaths b) a road the width of one car without footpaths c) no bus service
    3) Why were your decisions made behind closed doors?
    4) Can you clarify any obligation the Cooks original building plans had to offer commercial units to small businesses?
    I'll be writing to discover the facts - I hope others do to. We all have personal interests but there are very serious principles at stake here too.
  • edited October 2012
    FOI made.

    I'm interested in knowing when WTC first knew of the proposed deal and how long they have been sitting on it for. Not holding out - the usual 'commercial confidentiality' will probably be cited.

    Other FOI's can be made over here.
  • Walk to the Doctors, yeah right thats a good 35-40mins walk from Broadfields.

    Take the car,  and now get stung for pay and display parking, or find a space that will clog the streets further.

    I really can't how this is a improvement.

    Brian, us top enders do know of the bottom you know!
  • Why can two smaller surgeries not be considered - one up the top, one down the bottom?

    Obviously there are cost considerations but could we not have two smaller, cheaper buildings (one already existting) each with fewer GPs, rather than one larger building with a greater number of GPs (no doubt led by a practice head absolutely raking it in).

    This would also allow choice (perish the thought) and easier, more local, access for all.

    As far as Cooks is concerned, acess would certainly be a problem if it was the only option (as proposed), but I don't think it makes sense to keep empty commercial units, and certainly not to build any more, with no  chance of letting them.  Shops, a cafe or a bar would be good - provide more choice on the river front.
  • lizliz
    edited October 2012
    Comment withdrawn - Borough Councillors and County Councillors were not involved in the discussions.
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