Civic Hall Car Park (also known as Waitrose Car Park) Poynton

The partners have issued the following statement in response to the consultation on Car Parking changes at Priorslegh Medical Centre

The Middlewood Partnership, which runs GP and NHS services from Priorslegh Medical Centre at the Civic Centre in Poynton, wishes to express its significant concerns about any changes to the current parking arrangements at the Civic Centre Car Park.

The GP practice, which is part of the fabric of Poynton, and has played a major part in the delivery of NHS services for decades, requires easy and suitable access for all patients, staff and clinicians during the day. The surgery itself has minimal parking. However, the surgery was built and operating long before the only nearby car park became a potential income generating asset for East Cheshire Council or commercial neighbour. Before this, it has always been a community asset for those using public services based in the practice, library and civic hall. The recent vaccine programme, and the ability for many volunteers and patients to park nearby clearly illustrates the importance of a public infrastructure that promotes community, wellbeing and service over profit. Had restrictions been in place during the last 6 months of our successful vaccine programme, we suspect many volunteers and staff would not have been able to help in such an amazing way.

As a practice, we encourage those staff who don’t need nearby access to their car to visit patients, as well as non-clinical staff, to use long term and other parking if they cannot use public transport, car-share, cycle or walk.

However, the practice has hundreds of patients using our services every week, and the practice is a base for NHS community services. This means that numerous NHS and care staff visit from, and meet at, this facility daily, including district and Macmillan nurses, therapists, matrons, paramedics and visiting doctors and clinicians. Together as an NHS team, we visit hundreds of Poynton’s most vulnerable and critically ill housebound patients each month and require ready and convenient access to the surgery base as we go about our vitally important duties every day.

GPs, nurses and other clinicians cannot cycle, walk or use public transport to visit patients. They need their own cars, parked nearby. We are concerned that there are simply not enough long term car park places for these essential staff. Enforcing the car park rules will severely impact a clinicians ability to rapidly visit patients in need. Members of the team will need to park further away, and we feel these proposed changes will adversely affect patient safety and cause harm to the most vulnerable in our community, delaying our response time for urgent home visits, and reducing our efficiency by adding interruption to the daily routine of all visiting clinicians reducing the number of people seen. The proposals will create a level of disruption to the local  NHS to provide safe care, and will likely cause harm due to clinicians at the surgery not having ready access to their cars. In addition, elderly and frail patients who need to attend the surgery need to be considered in these proposals.

We would welcome a constructive and pragmatic solution to the issues raised in this consultation and would be happy to discuss these and help develop alternatives to this unilateral proposal which appears to be driven more by commerce and profit rather than the wellbeing and health of our community.

The Partners, Middlewood Partnership