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Future of Prestbury doctors' surgery remains in doubt after Cleeveland and Homeland developments given go-ahead

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 22, 2013

  • SUPER SURGERY: An artist's impression of how the new medical centre could look

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UNCERTAINTY remains over the future of a Cheltenham doctors' surgery.

Managers at the Seven Posts practice in Prestbury were considering merging with their sister surgery Greyholme to form a super surgery in Bishop's Cleeve.

They were waiting until a decision was made by the High Court over whether to give permission to 1,000 new homes near to the planned new surgery.

The legal challenge by Tewkesbury Borough Council failed this week – paving the way for work to start on the Homelands 2 and Cleevelands developments.

But practice manager Harry Curzon remained tight-lipped over the future of the surgery despite the ruling.

He said: "We are committed to achieving the best possible outcome for our patients and want to ensure they can access the very best service in an excellent purpose-built facility in the future.

"It is also about how we, as a team, can best provide a wide range of primary care services in an affective joined-up way.

"This housing development decision will be taken into account in our ongoing discussions with NHS Gloucestershire."

Mr Curzon said he did not know when a decision might be reached. NHS Gloucestershire did not respond to the Echo's query over the surgeries.

Patients of Seven Posts received a survey last week about the proposed move – which has already been welcomed by residents in Bishop's Cleeve.

But councillor Les Godwin (PAB, Prestbury) is not pleased his ward is at risk of losing its only surgery.

He has questioned how Prestbury's elderly population would get to Bishop's Cleeve without their own transport.

"We hoped the Bishop's Cleeve developments would not go ahead so we would continue to have a surgery in Prestbury," he added. "However, when the application got to this stage, one had to be an eternal optimist to think it was not going forward – it is like fighting Big Brother.

"The surgery is very important in Prestbury. We would prefer them to stay where they are and expand the surgery."

Peter Badham, a parish councillor in Bishop's Cleeve, conceded there would be a mixed reaction to creating the super surgery in the village.

He added: "It will entirely depend on where you live as to whether you see this as a good move or a bad one."

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  • Shirleyjune  |  February 22 2013, 1:18PM

    Sorry, I was talking about the effect moving the surgery in Bishops Cleeve would have on that village as well. Not everyone has access to a car and may have problems because of being limited by disability or age.

  • AndyPrestbury  |  February 22 2013, 12:56PM

    @Shirleyjune so which bus route goes direct from Prestbury to Bishops Cleeve? The options are to walk up to the racecourse, or to get a bus into town on either the A or N routes and then get a second bus to Bishops Cleeve. So this would mean no local coverage for the entire Whaddon/Prestbury side of town.

  • Shirleyjune  |  February 22 2013, 11:52AM

    The present surgery is well served by very frequent bus services, as well as road access and is centrally placed in the centre of the village. I wonder if there is going to be a pharmacist on site?

  • Judyteen  |  February 22 2013, 11:21AM

    Look there is a way here. Keep the Prestbury surgery, but open another bigger surgery in Bishops Cleeve. The elderly in Prestbury will not be able to get to Bishops Cleeve. And what if they are ill? They will not be able to get buses, and why should they? There are a lot of elderly people worrying about this. bigger is not always better.

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  • Judyteen  |  February 22 2013, 11:17AM