Councillor Dave Smith, chair of Dinnington St John’s Town Council, asked during a meeting of Rotherham Council’s cabinet on Monday what will be done to alleviate GP surgeries in the area that “are already operating above capacity”.
Coun Smith told the meeting that a infrastructure delivery study published in March 2021 states that “particular pressures in the future will come in areas of anticipated high patient growth.
“This includes services in Dinnington / Anston where services are already operating above capacity and practices cannot proactivley respond to increased demand,” added Coun Smith.
“Being that two significant housing developments are well on their way in this area, could you tell me what the council intends to do to ameliorate this serious and potentially critical situation?
“That study is saying that it’s already operating above capacity in 2018.
“We’re in 2022, and we’re having hundreds of houses built, and nobody seems to know what the hell’s going off.”
Coun Smith asked when a new health centre proposed in the study, at a cost of £3.5m, would be expected to be built in Dinnington, and asked for councillors and officers for a meeting.
“Could I also ask the cabinet member, appropriate officers urgently to meet myself as chairman of Dinnington St John’s Town Council and our three borough councillors, to discuss the possibility of putting this into the Levelling-Up bid for Dinnington, instead of the ridiculous plan that seems to be getting put forward to build a whole row of shops that aren’t going to get used?” added Coun Smith.
Councillor Chris Read, leader of the council, agreed to the contact Coun Smith regarding the meeting, and added that “it is the CCG’s responsibility to ensure adequate access to GPs”.
He said: “I’d reiterate though, the provision of adequate GP services responsible for the health service, the CCG is responsibility to ensure that is provided.”
Coun Denise Lelliott added: “There’s trigger points within any agreement that when so many houses are built…when they get to a certain amount they would have to provide GP surgeries.
“It is part of the national planning and policy framework, and part of the planning process is that we do consult with the CCG when those trigger points would come in, but obviously it’s a national police that comes down, and we pick it up at our local planning policy.”
Coun David Roche added: “It’s the CCG, not the council who operate the GP surgeries – they do keep us involved about what’s happening, and certainly we can discuss it with them, as we do, where we have concerns.
A spokesperson for Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We are not aware of any plans to build a new health centre in the Dinnington area.
“However, we are working with local practices in relation to the availability of sufficient space and capacity to accommodate the expected increased number of patients in the area.”