Garstang housing boom sparks GP’s concerns

Windsor Surgery, Garstang
Windsor Surgery, Garstang

Doctors at one of Garstang’s soon-to-merge GPs surgeries fear they may be “unable to provide adequate care” for patients because of the town’s ongoing building boom.

The comments were made against the backdrop of recently approved plans for around 1,000 homes in greater Garstang – and the likelihood of more approvals soon.

Dr John Williamson of Windsor Surgery

Dr John Williamson of Windsor Surgery

The medics’ concerns, voiced by Dr Jonathan Williamson, from Windsor Surgery, became public as Wyre Council planners considered the latest private housing scheme – for 49 homes off Calder House Lane, Bowgreave.

It also comes at the same time as Wyre Council launches its latest round of consultation for the Local Plan.

In a report presented to councillors at the Wyre planning committee meeting the Windsor Surgery fears were outlined by officers, who stated: “They will be unable to provide adequate care, given their current limits on Primary Care provision. They are aware they will now be hamstrung by the resultant massive increase in list size which will be generated by these housing developments.”

In a letter to planners Dr Williamson, a GP with nearly 30 years experience, detailed the impact of a growing patient list due to proposed housing in the Garstang area.

We are currently providing the best possible care we can for our community but, given the proposed housing developments, we fear we will be unable to provide adequate care, given our current limits on Primary Care provision.

The population of Garstang and district is likely to rise by around 3,000 over the next few years as new estates south of the town are built.

Dr Williamson said the current combined list for both surgeries was more than 18,000.

He added: “The Medical Centre was built in 2006 and currently is working at full capacity.

“We have a full complement of staff which utilises all the building space to its maximum. There is no further scope for innovative working within our building to free up more space or facilitate increased capacity of work.

“We are currently providing the best possible care we can for our community but, given the proposed housing developments, we fear we will be unable to provide adequate care, given our current limits on Primary Care provision.“

The rapid growth in Garstang’s population and the impact on medical services is one of the reasons behind the forthcoming merger of the surgeries Windsor Surgery and Landscape Surgery, its neighbour in the Kepple Lane medical centre.

The merger move will go ahead next week on October 1, when it will become Garstang Medical Practice.