chess health centre
IT HAS been six months since Chesham’s eagerly anticipated Chess Medical Centre opened its doors. People were desperate to see the £6million centre, in Berkhampstead Road, open since the closure of the town’s hospital in 2005 and their wish finally came true on December 12, 2011.
The centre became the new home for two doctors’ surgeries – The New Surgery, formally in Lindo Close, and Gladstone Road Surgery, in Gladstone Road.
Patients were also promised 10 multi-purpose clinical rooms, three treatment rooms, 34 special treatment rooms, blood clinics and district nurses based at the centre, but these have not been delivered.
The Examiner spoke to some patients at the centre who said they feel it has not delivered what it promised, is not worth the money and that the waiting area feels like a ‘morgue’.
Disappointed patient Hannah Morgan said: “It’s rubbish and we haven’t got what we were promised.
“I don’t like it because it’s hard to get an appointment and I want district nurses based at the centre like we were promised.”
Kate Folly, who lives just across from the centre in Essex Road, said: “It’s very convenient for me and it’s a nice building when you actually get an appointment to see a doctor, but I don’t feel it’s delivered what we were hoping for, like physiotherapy, blood-taking services and consultants.
“After six months I think we could’ve expected more than that.”
However, her husband Phil Folly said parking at the new centre was ‘200 times better’ than at Gladstone Road Surgery.
Patient at the New Surgery, Vicki Hamilton, feels let down by the centre: “It was an opportunity to improve the facilities we already had but it’s the most depressing and austere reception area, it feels like a morgue.
“There’s been no improvements and I think the money would’ve been better spent on something else. I think it was better at Lindo Close.”
New Surgery patient June Holt said: “I don't think it’s delivered what it said it was going to. We were told it was going to have better services and be really lovely but it’s not.”
An NHS dentist and pharmacy are set to open at the centre within the next few months and out-patient consultation rooms and special clinics are also potential future developments.
A discussion is also on-going on how to improve the environment for patients.
Practice manager Sarah Day said: “The doctors and staff at both surgeries are very pleased with the new medical centre and are surprised that some of our patients don’t feel the same.
“The surgeries have only been in these new premises for six months and the priority has always been on maintaining the day-to-day running of the surgeries and providing excellent primary care services to our local population.
“Work is in progress which we hope will continue to improve the centre over the coming months and years.”
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