Call to fight judicial review to save GP practices in Whitchurch

A fight is being launched to safeguard the future of GP practices in Whitchurch as plans for a new modern health centre are at risk, say local health bosses.

An artist impression of the planned health and medical development for Whitchurch
An artist impression of the planned health and medical development for Whitchurch

Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) warns that if the latest plans for a modern health centre at Pauls Moss, Whitchurch, are overturned by an appeal through a judicial review then the town potentially faces a future with no GP health centre.

If plans are overturned, the nearest practices for residents of Whitchurch will be five to ten miles away.

The CCG is launching a petition and asking local people to sign it, calling on the objectors to withdraw the application for a judicial review. At the moment, the only way for the health centre to be built is for the objector to withdraw their application for a judicial review. The petition can be signed here.

Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire CCG, said: “Getting a modern health centre for Whitchurch is a priority as our two existing practices are working from old residential properties, and when the GPs retire it will be very hard to attract new GPs to work there.

“The risk is that if we don’t get the go-ahead for this medical centre and we will have lost our chance to ensure that Whitchurch has a future health centre. The funding isn’t going to stay on the table forever.

“The irony here is that the planning application has been approved – twice in fact, including an update to take into account feedback – but each time a judicial review has been lodged by objectors.

“I would ask the people of Whitchurch why anyone would say no to a brand new health centre alongside a local landmark building which was becoming derelict and is now set to be given a new lease of life?”

Mike McDonald, former Mayor of Whitchurch, said: “What we need to understand is that this is potentially our last opportunity to have a new medical centre fit for the 21st century – that is the sad reality.

“Objections on the basis of minor issues such as the precise amount of open space could put the whole project in jeopardy. The views of a small minority could mean everyone else in the town loses this facility we so desperately need – especially at a time of anticipated growth. I would therefore urge everyone to support this campaign, before the funding is lost.”

Local residents are now being asked to back a campaign by the CCG to have the judicial review withdrawn so that Whitchurch has a future with a modern GP practice.

The petition can be signed at: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/whitchurchpracticepetition

The Wrekin Housing Group, in partnership with the NHS and Shropshire Council, has planning permission to retain the existing Pauls Moss building and create a sheltered housing scheme for over 55s with on-site support available.

The Wrekin Housing Group has gifted the land onsite to the NHS so it can build the new health centre. Under new plans, Pauls Moss will be open to the public who will be able to use an open landscaped area and also go into the refurbished building and visit a local café and restaurant.

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