Last night, Town Mayor Cllr Peter Coan hosted a public meeting to discuss future primary healthcare provision in Knutsford. The packed meeting at Knutsford Methodist Church included a panel with Esther McVey MP, Dr Patrick Kearns (Knutsford Medical Partnership) and Mark Wilkinson (Cheshire East Place Director at Cheshire and Merseyside NHS integrated Care Board). Unfortunately East Cheshire NHS Trust (which owns the hospital) and the Leader of Cheshire East Council (which owns property around hospital and is responsible for social care) were unable to attend.
Patrick Kearns highlighted the challenge facing local doctors who are desperate for more space to be able to provide more care for the community. It was also highlighted that whilst a lease extension had been secured for the Annandale surgery, it will end in five years at which point the practice would lose a significant space.
Mark Wilkinson confirmed that improved primary care facilities for Knutsford are the top priority for the Cheshire East directorate he leads, but noted that following the change to Cheshire and Merseyside NHS there will be other top priority projects in other areas which compete.
The community expressed its frustration that after 15 years there seemed to have been no real progress on delivering new facilities. Mark Wilkinson advised that, subject to all going smoothly with securing permissions and funding, a new facility could be approximately five years away.
It was noted that the delivery of a new facility required strong partnership working from all partners. It was suggested that residents write to the Chief Executives for Cheshire East Council and the East Cheshire NHS Trust urging them to commit to the delivery of a new combined medical centre at the site of the Community Hospital (NHS Trust owned) and Bexton Court (Cheshire East Council owned) and prioritise engagement in a project to see it delivered.
As promised at the meeting, we are providing the contact information for these organisations.
Chief Executive of the East Cheshire NHS Trust
East Cheshire NHS Trust
Macclesfield District General Hospital
Chief Executive of Cheshire East Council
Cheshire East Council
The Town Mayor will be writing to all stakeholders to convene a meeting as the first step to ensuring all partners commit to the project and make it a reality.