New surgery on fire station site

Celebrating the start of work to construct a new doctors surgery on the site of the old Mexborough Fire Station are l/r Roger Bonser (site manager), Lorraine Penaluna (Practice Administrator), Dr Vijay Kumar, Lisa Ripley (Practice Manager), Giles Brearley (Patients representative) and Darren Ailward (MD Beauforts Construction).  Picture: Malcolm Billingham
Celebrating the start of work to construct a new doctors surgery on the site of the old Mexborough Fire Station are l/r Roger Bonser (site manager), Lorraine Penaluna (Practice Administrator), Dr Vijay Kumar, Lisa Ripley (Practice Manager), Giles Brearley (Patients representative) and Darren Ailward (MD Beauforts Construction). Picture: Malcolm Billingham

A NEW doctor’s surgery and pharmacy is to be built on the site of the old Mexborough Fire Station.

Building work started this week to transform the empty land on Highwoods Road into a state-of-the-art integrated healthcare centre.

The project has been led by a team of four doctors and manager Lisa Ripley from Mexborough Medical Practice.

Once the facility is ready for opening, estimated to be summer 2013, all staff and services will transfer over from the practice.

Executive Partner Dr Vijay Kumar said the new centre will offer a wider range of services to the 5, 500 patients registered with the practice.

He said: “We will be able to offer more services than ever at the new centre.

“There will be a cardio respirary suite and a theatre to perform operations under local anaesthetic, such as vasectomys, varicose vein surgery and procedures for people with skin cancer.

“Our current base is an old house and is about 50 years old so this will allow us to provide more services in a modern setting.”

Lisa Ripley added: “All staff will be moved over and there may be potential in the future to employ more people. We also hope to take on more patients.

“Our patients have been involved in the process every step of the way.”

There was an original plan to build a super surgery in Mexborough, which was to house services from the existing three town surgeries all under one roof.

But funding from NHS Doncaster was pulled in 2010 as part of a raft of Government cuts.

About 1000 people signed a petition in protest at the decision.

The scheme has been largely self-financed by the team at Mexborough Medical Practice, who bought the site from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

A spokesman for NHS Doncaster said the health body has not provided funding for the building scheme, but has given some funds to help with GP’s lease arrangements.

He said: “We support the move as this will be an improvement in services. We want patients to be able to access high quality premesis and this fits the bill.

“Once the new surgery opens then the NHS property department will look at the existing Mexborough Medical Practice to see if it can still be used.

“If it cannot be then the option of selling it off will be considered.”

Planning permission for the new scheme was granted by Doncaster Council in July.