For too long, Knutsford has been calling for improvements to primary medical facilities in the town, with an ambition to create a central ‘super surgery’ bringing together the three GP surgeries into a modern and accessible venue with enhanced access to services which residents currently have to travel for.
Until March 2023, it was understood that Knutsford was a priority for investment from the Clinical Commissioning Group (now replaced by an Integrated Care Board) but the Town was alarmed when it was advised that alternative options were being explored and a combined centre was no longer a priority.
The Town Council wrote to Graham Uwin, Chief Executive of the new Cheshire and Merseyside ICB expressing dismay at this decision and was pleased to note his response that investment was not off the table:
The proposal for a new centralised Primary Care facility in Knutsford has not been declined by NHS Cheshire and Merseyside but in light of external circumstances e.g. the increasing cost of construction materials we have agreed to explore alongside the new centralised facility potentially more cost-effective alternatives within the town. This will involve reviewing current assets that exist and how they may be adapted to suit the long-term requirements for healthcare within Knutsford. We have been engaged with both East Cheshire NHS Trust and Cheshire East Council to review the current assets for some time and several options are being considered.
At a time when Knutsford is growing, with two major housing developments already under construction and local doctors expressing severe concern that they will not be able to cope with the rising population, the Town Council is keen to maintain pressure on local decision makers to ensure money is secured and investment delivered in Knutsford at long last.
The Town Council is therefore hosting a public meeting on Wednesday 31st May at 7pm in Knutsford Methodist Church to hear from and question leaders in relation to primary healthcare provision in the town. The meeting will be attended by representatives of The Cheshire and Merseyside NHS, Cheshire East Council and Tatton MP Ester McVey. The meeting will be chaired by the Town Mayor and supported by doctors from the Knutsford Medical Partnership.
The aim of the meeting is to provide an opportunity for the public to put questions to decision makers, hear from the NHS what it is doing to ensure access to medical services in Knutsford and ensure all partners are committed to working closely together to expedite investment in facilities.