Castlefields Health Centre hopes to offer new services for Runcorn patients

RUNCORN’S second biggest GP practice moves to a new home on Monday.

Castlefields Health Centre, owned by six partners, opens in state-of-the-art premises at the £11 million Village Square.

The three-storey building will provide many new services for 11, 713 patients.

Practice manager Kelly Atkins said: “We are all very excited. We will have more doctors, more nurses and more services.

“We are hoping, because we will have more space than any other practice, to introduce services for the whole of Runcorn.

“We will have fully equipped treatment rooms with ventilation for infection control.

“It would be much cheaper for us to do clinical procedures than to refer patients to hospital.”

The current building in Chester Close was built in 1969.

Around 60 staff will transfer to the new centre, including three male doctors, five female doctors, a nurse practitioner, four practice nurses and three health care assistants.

Other health and support staff provide other specialities.

However, some patients fear there will not be sufficient parking.

A 67-year-old patient, who has various health problems, said: “There are only 10 car parking spaces for patients and only two allocated for disabled patients.

“I’m worried that I’m going to find it difficult, if not impossible to find a space close enough to the health centre.”

Kelly Atkins, practice manager, said the health centre has 14 visitor spaces plus two disabled spaces, and the community centre has 25 visitor spaces plus two for the disabled.

Kelly said: “We will have more spaces than we have now as staff, visitors and patients currently share an existing 19 space car park.

“At the new centre, it will be just for patients and there will be other spaces available in the village square. They are all clearly signposted for visitor parking.

“We have committed to a green travel plan, encouraging staff to cycle or walk to work.

“We will have designated areas for doctors and nurses. Other staff will continue to use the old car park an walk down to the new centre.

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