Health Centre Questions

edited December 2012 in Health Centre
Please feel free to add questions that have yet to be answered about the new Health Centre here. Once again - debate around these can be on the main Health Centre thread. If an answer can added by anyone, please do post in this thread.

Why did the Fire Station deal fall through?

Where exactly is the location for the proposed new health centre?

When did RHL first identify the new location?

Who owns the site?

What other companies have been involved in the discussions to date?

What legal stage is the deal at?

What other sites have been looked at by RHL?

What is the profit forecast for RHL on this project?



  • edited October 2012

    Who owns the Cedric's site?

    What proposals do RHL have for traffic management?

    Has a survey ever been done into the demographic make-up of Wivenhoe so that the location of most frequent users of the Health Centre (eg the elderly) can be identified?

  • edited October 2012
    Patsy - I'm not sure this answers your demographic make-up of Wivenhoe question to identify the location of most frequent users. I'd be surprised if such figures exist. But on the general health or otherwise of Wivenhoe these figures were given out in May 2010.

    There is a population of around 10,000
    Over 17% of the population are aged over 65 and 17% are ages under 14.
    36% of the population are recorded as having a chronic illness.
    The PCT considered "...that the local population, on the whole, were highly mobile and healthy"
    On the question of new Pharmacy provision the PCT had this to say:
    "It has already been established that the patients of Dr Hale & Partners have the
    highest life expectancy in the PCT area of 82 years of age compared to other wards
    in the PCT which have a life expectancy of only 70.1 years. The deprivation (MD)
    indices for Wivenhoe show the health needs of the local residents being in the lower
    quartile of deprivation. Residents score low on the QOF* Disease register and there is
    a good uptake on Flu vaccinations for patients over 65 which is above the PCT
    average of 73.5%. Therefore as far as the PCT is concerned there are no unmet
    health needs within the neighbourhood of Wivenhoe. The PCT is focussed on
    addressing health inequalities and as the local populace is healthy it is unlikely that
    the PCT would wish to commission any further services within the neighbourhood of

    * QOF - Quality and Outcomes Framework

    All this comes from this document:
  • What was the nature of the planning difficulties said to exist at the fire station site?

    At what date did these planning difficulties become apparent?

    Was any indication given by any planning authority to either WTC, RHLtd or the doctors that the plans as currently presented on the RH website would not be passed?

    Have any plans and/or architect's drawings for Cook's Yard been submitted to any planning authority?
    If so on which date were they submitted?
    If not, what is the basis for saying that planning permission on Cook's Yard would be easier to secure?

  • edited October 2012
    Apart from straight forward conditions of sale, were there any additional conditions being laid down by Mr Gooch, (the owner of the land next to the fire station), that we are at present unaware of that may have influenced Realise Health Ltd's decision to suddenly switch to the Cooks site?
  • If Taylor Wimpey own the site, does lexden restoration still have any interest still in the site? If so what?
  • Ok, following on from yesterday's (well attended) meeting at the Greyhound, I've agreed to put forward the questions people have raised to the WTC meeting this evening.
    It would be beneficial and polite to send them the questions in advance, so I suggest any further questions people think of are raised this morning, and then I'll post a summary before sending them to WTC.

    I have spoken to WTC this morning, and they are anticipating questions from other members of the public as well (may or may not be people who have engaged with the subject on this forum), so I propose to try and condense the questions and keep them to the key points, so that they may be raised and properly answered.

    Does that sound fair and reasonable?

    Finally, question to Jason: I have been lead to believe you record these meetings. Is that so, and will you be doing so tonight?


  • I was wondering if any of the WTC shared any of the views Brian posted (as his own) on the 4 October on the forum, e.g."There are concerns that if a decision is not made the Centre could be lost, so we are told." If this view is held by the WTC, please could they explain who told them and what reasons were given.
  • Adrian - I don't record the meetings but the Town Clerk does.
  • edited October 2012
    Ok, here are the (condensed) questions I propose to ask:

    1.Why and when did the fire station scheme fall through, what was the nature of the difficulties and who pulled the plug?

    2.When did RHL first identify the new location, and what legal stage is the Cook’s deal at?  For example, have any plans and/or architect's drawings for Cook's Yard been submitted to any planning authority? If so on what date?

    3.What other sites have been discounted by RHL, and why?

    4.What proposals do RHL have for traffic management? For example, has the  impact of additional pedestrian and vehicular traffic to and from Cook’s been researched and will free parking be available for vehicular traffic? Can a bus route be created to the proposed site?

    5.Has a survey ever been done into the demographic make-up of Wivenhoe/Alresford/Elmstead Market so that the location of most frequent users of the Health Centre (eg the elderly) can be identified?

    6.Has the possibility/feasibility of two smaller health centres been concidered (as exist in Mersea) - the existing one, and a new one at the bottom end of Wivenhoe requiring less space?

    7.There are concerns that if a decision is not made the Centre could be lost. If this view is held by the WTC, please could they explain who told them and what reasons were  given.

    Anything anyone strongly disagrees with, shout before 1pm when I will send them to WTC.


  • I've now forwarded the questions to WTC (including the new questions Liz and Greenback raised on this and the other thread).


  • edited October 2012
    Where exactly is the location for the proposed new Health Centre?

    [Edited cos now I'm completely confused...!]
    1.jpg 88.7K
  • I would like to know what is to be included in the current plan for the Health Centre.  There has been much talk of how the original plans have been downgraded.  I presume the explanation for this is cost but there may be other reasons.  Perhaps what we are looking at now is a slightly enlarged doctor's surgery not the more comprehensive facility shown in the plans submitted for the Fire Station site.
  • edited October 2012
    The location for the proposed Health Centre has now been confirmed by Realise Health Ltd as being here...(next to the Colne barrier building)

  • edited October 2012
    The commercial units around the dock have restricted category of use and are not the area in discussion.  The area which is currently being cleared immediately opposite the dinghy park spaces is designated for commercial
    units with A1 category and that is the one under discussion. It is not very big once you have included the obligatory parking spaces designated within the site area. 

    Do not confuse this with the area further over near the houses because that is the open space/play area
    I suspect the likelihood of commercial units being viable in that position makes them a less attractive proposition to build, but I shouldn't surmise.

    Comments from Highways to Cllr. Julie Young indicate quite clearly that the type of commercial units envisaged would generate morning and evening traffic with people going to their workplace in keeping with the originally accepted traffic impact surveys. Traffic generated by a medical centre would be throughout the day.

    My understanding is that under the agreements drawn up between Lexdon Restorations and TW LR retained the option to develop that part, hence the parties involved in the current discussions. Because of restrictions imposed by CBC Planning Dep the units around the dock can only be used as office, or other non retail space such as art galleries etc... Great pity because a little coffee shop or similar would
    be wonderful there.

    The latter is a personal view I hasten to add. TW applied expand the categories of use there to make those units a more marketable facility. WTC supported that change but CBC refused. Now TW want to sell them as residential but WTC have objected and that decision is on hold for six months to encourage TW to market them more. 

    With all our artists crying out for space I would have thought that is the answer. Residential with no gardens would just mean more ornamental and patio furniture spread, restricting the walkway and public access. I hope this answers some questions. Also anyone can look at the CBC online site for planning and access application detail. If you do, you need to tick the acceptance box for terms and conditions.  It is a site full of information and you can monitor existing and new applications.

  • Having seen Rogers latest, we are talking about the same area.  Thanks for the pics.
  • edited October 2012
    Given's Brian's helpful post above, I would like to post again liz's question:

    If Taylor Wimpey own the site, does Lexden Restoration still have any interest still in the site? If so what?


  • lizliz
    edited October 2012
    Presumably the straw poll is to try and gather evidence to persuade the Highways Authority that everyone is going to levitate down the hill to the Medical Centre (and back)?
  • edited October 2012
    What prompted the alteration of the office plans at the proposed Cooks Site in 2009?

    Has Lexden properties and/or Jonathan Frank exercised their option to buy the Cooks site?

    Is there any known prior relationship between any of the people or companies who stand to benefit financially or who have been colluding to keep this quiet?
  • Congratulations to Roger Mainwood for all the information he has gathered.  This is probably a question for him.
    Would the money from the PCT that has been mentioned be a loan to the Practice who would then own the building or would a new Health Centre be a publicly owned asset?  This might affect whether it was possible to go down the compulsory purchase route to acquire land by the Fire Station.
  • Thanks Poopdecker - but afraid I'm out of my depth on that one. Would need a bit of research...
  • edited October 2012
    mossie october 21

    If as Mr Jenkin suggests in his letter the issue of the fire station site comes down to cost can I assume that this land is a potential housing development and that this is the beginning of the end of the open space between us and the university?
  • The land between us and the University is currently "white" land, i.e. agricultural.  The planners would be likely to give permission for a health centre, as permission was given for the fire station, but not for housing.  A group called the Wivenhoe Consortium put forward schemes for developing the land when the Colchester core strategy was being discussed but these were not included in the plan.  Because the land may have "hope value", as planners do change their minds, this may affect the price which the owner is asking or he may be bargaining for permission to develop some of the site in exchange for releasing land for the health centre.  I asked Bernard Jenkins if compulsory purchase orders could be used to acquire sites for health centres but, as GP premises are normally owned by the GP practice and are not public assets, it seems that compulsory purchase is not an option.  The classification for Cedric's site was changed from commercial to residential a few years back, which was a great mistake on the planners' part.  This increased the market value of the site.  The Cooks Shipyard site is zoned for commercial use which makes it cheaper.  
  • So that the GP practice come armed with the necessary facts to answer our questions on 30th I am going to write in advance to ask:
    How many patient appointments in a busy week does a doctor have at the surgery?
    How many patient appointments in a busy week does a practice nurse have at the surgery?
    How many people would you estimate a week call into the surgery to drop or collect items such as represcrption requests, specimens ?
    Are any of the above coming to and from the surgery at a greater rate, eg are Monday mornings especially busy?
    When there are seasonal elements such as flu jabs what percentage increase in patients do you have at tfe surgery?
    How many times in a busy week does a doctor come and go from the surgery , eg home visits and lunch break?
    How many service visits and delivery visits are there to the surgery each week, eg cleaning, drug deliveries?
    How many GPs, admin staff and nurses woukd be at a new practice at the proposed Cooks site?
    Would you envisage any of the above increasing over the next 5 years with increased populations - if so by what percentage?
    Anyone want to add some questions before I write on Wednesday?
  • edited October 2012
    Good list of questions Liz. You might want to add about the numbers just visiting the pharmacy too.
  • lizliz
    edited October 2012
    More questions I will send to the GPs: how many refuse vehicles come to the surgery a week? Do any other staff attend the surgery, eg health visitors?
    Will you expect to expand your patient services in a new practice. eg minor surgical procedures or physiotherapyIf so what additional staff or increased number of patients is that likely to lead to?
    What ease / speed of access to a hospital would you hope for at a GPs surgery?
  • Yes Roger ... I'm not clear on whether this is an in-house pharmacy or separate commercial venture with a shop like VIne Parade's?
  • edited October 2012
    I don't know for certain either - but I'm getting the feeling that it is a commercial venture like the Vine Parade one. Certainly County Cllr Julie Young talked as if it was similar:

    "We talked about the pharmacy as well, unless rules have changed, if a
    pharmacy is created at Cooks then the existing pharmacy would have to
    close losing a valuable facility for Cross ward and this would have a
    knock on effect to other traders"

    But it certainly needs clarifying by the GPs.
  • As has been mentioned in an earlier thread the pharmacy at Vine Parade will likely have to close if there is one at Cooks.  If only an in-house pharmacy is proposed then we would be losing the ability in Wivenhoe to buy all the other goods currently on offer in the pharmacy at Vine Parade.
  • Great questions Liz.
    I would add something about emergency vehicles such as ambulances, since I understand the current roads are an issue for them.

  • So, additional questions:
    What sort of pharmacy is being considered for the possible Cook's site - a pharmacy in the surgery or a pharmacy within a shop like Boots in Vine Parade?
    If an in-surgery pharmacy:
    - will it be just supplying drugs prescribed by the doctors or will it be offering advice too?
    - will it be selling goods, other than prescribed drugs?
    - what number of people per week would you envisage using the proposed pharmacy?
    Would the surgery require ease of access for ambulances? Is there any legal requirement here as presumably ill people who come to a surgery may suddenly become an emergency requiring speedy access to an A & E hospital? Would unmade roads, single-lane roads, roads without footpaths, and 20mph speed restricted areas pose a problem for ambulances to and from the proposed site?

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