New homes fears for Filey GPs

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SERIOUS concerns have been raised about the capacity of Filey Surgery to cope with the expected influx of new patients coming from the 300 homes to be built in Muston Road.

Although the surgery has been allocated £50,000 as part of the planning process, the partners, civic leaders and many worried patients have said it is “nowhere near” enough.

One of the partners, Dr Roel Wynands, said they expected about 1,000 additional patients on top of the current register of nearly 9,000, and the extra cash could only go towards a physical extension of the premises, not on staff costs.

He said: “We’ve been worried for a while. We had reached an agreement with the previous developers in 2007 which now seems to have been taken over by the new developers, but of course things have changed in the meantime.

“There’s going to be a larger proportion of affordable housing, and projections change about the number of people per house. We feel the level of demand on the surgery and other facilities would increase.

“We’ve expressed these concerns to Filey Town Council, the developers and the Primary Care Trust, and we feel we’ve always been supported by the town council and the PCT, but I’m still awaiting a reply from the developers.”

The surgery currently has three full-time partners and two salaried doctors working shorter hours, which Dr Wynands said was “about right” for the current population.

However, he said they had been struggling with the physical accommodation for the practice since its most recent expansion which took up “more or less” all their available space. “We’ve looked at the gas showroom land and we couldn’t afford it, but we would be interested in developing that,” he added.

At last week’s meeting of the town council, Cllr Marion Wright said she had “grave concerns” for the surgery and believed it was already over-stretched. She said: “I think the surgery does a smashing job, but an influx of people would make a very big impact.”

Filey ward councillor Sam Cross said he thought it was the biggest problem faced by the town at the moment. “We all sat at a meeting with the PCT and planning officers and expressed concern, but unfortunately it’s not a planning issue. The partners are at breaking point and it’s of great concern to an older population.”

Cllr David Murton added: “If this continues, people could die through lack of treatment.”

A spokeswoman for Coast and Country Housing said it was not them who decided on the amount of money allocated. She added: “We have a strong track record of working with, investing in and providing amenities for the local community where its development sites are based. Section 106 contributions have been agreed as part of the outline planning permission and Coast & Country adheres to these.”