A new GP practice is set to open in Leyland for the first time in 30 years.
Leyland Surgery is being formed by two of the seven GP partners from the town’s existing Sandy Lane Practice, to improve access to health services for residents in the area.
A new doctor is also being appointed, and it is expected around 5,000 patients will be transferred from Sandy Lane to the new facility, which will open its doors in West Paddock this April.
Dr Kathryn Atkinson, who will be the principal GP at Leyland Surgery, said: “This is a significant boost to local primary care facilities in the area, especially considering there has not been a new GP practice in Leyland for 30 years.
“The additional practice will enhance access for the local community and as both surgeries will continue to offer the exact same services, patients can choose whether they remain at the same practice or transfer to the new one.”
It is hoped there could be scope for a higher patient list at the new practice in the future.
But the main reason for the move is to help alleviate traffic and access problems to the existing surgery on Sandy Lane.
Residents in the area have been complaining for years because the street meets a dead-end where the surgery is located, meaning that patients have to drive up and down the road every time they visit the practice.
Dr Pauline Grace, Sandy Lane Surgery’s principal GP, said: “Demand for healthcare services here at Sandy Lane Practice is increasing year on year and as such, it is getting harder for patients to access these services.
“As a means to improve capacity and access, two of our seven partner GPs are leaving to form a new practice, Leyland Surgery, on West Paddock.
“By working as two separate practices from two sites in Leyland we hope to be able to offer a better service with more space, better access and facilities for our patients.”
Councillor for the Leyland Central ward, Derek Forrest, has been campaigning for change and suggested that the dead-end be opened up to allow access to Sandy Lane from St Andrew’s Way.
He said anything which would reduce traffic there was welcomed and said residents would be pleased something was being done to tackle the issue.
County Coun Mike France has also worked on a plan to temporarily open the dead-end on an ‘experimental basis’.
The short-term move will allow Lancashire County Council to see the effect this has on traffic problems, as concerns have now been raised that it could cause Sandy Lane to become a ‘rat-run’, and the council will then decide whether to make it a permanent solution.
Coun France said: “This news about the new surgery doesn’t affect the trial we have proposed for Sandy Lane.
“I think it’s great that the surgery is working to alleviate the problem, which has been partly caused by its expansion over the years, but I think it’s still worth looking at the outcome of opening the road to St Andrew’s Way on an experimental basis.
“Surgeries always grow as patient numbers expand, but I hope this can deliver a solution.”
Dr Kathryn Atkinson, Dr Gora Bangi, and a further GP, Dr Chris Scales, will be working from the new surgery from April 1, in the existing Westfields building in West Paddock.
Westfields is a Mental Health Centre, and the new surgery will share the building with the Westfield Community Mental Health Team.
Dr Pauline Grace, Dr Jane Hudson, Dr Brian Rambihar, Dr Linda Whitworth, and Dr Alicia Speller will remain as partners at Sandy Lane Surgery along with Dr Wendy Grice and Dr Sheeja Nair.
Sandy Lane Practice is writing to all of its patients to give them the option of transferring to the new Leyland Surgery or remaining with the current practice.
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