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Haverhill Family Practice GP Dr Firas Watfeh says expansion into adjoining Camps Road building has improved patient care and services





A Haverhill GP practice’s move into an adjoining building is making a ‘huge difference’ to the care and services it provides patients.

Haverhill Family Practice has begun expanding into the adjoining part of the Camps Road building it occupies, which until 2021 was used by the Christmas Maltings and Clements Practice, now Unity Healthcare.

As part of this change, patients of Haverhill Family Practice are being asked for feedback on plans to base all services at the Camps Road premises, ending any use of the Stourview branch surgery less than a quarter of a mile away.

Haverhill Family Practice is now occupying the whole building in Camps Road.Picture: Barry Goodwin
Haverhill Family Practice is now occupying the whole building in Camps Road.Picture: Barry Goodwin

Stourview has not been used by patients since late 2019.

The practice said its patient list had ‘grown by 25 per cent in the last seven years and continues to grow with new local housing estates in development’.

Since March 2021, the number of registered patients has risen from 16,623 to 18,700.

Haverhill Family Practice staff, from left; Julie Williams-Wilson (practice manager), Rachel Mack (practice operations manager) and Zoe McDonald (assistant practice manager). Picture: Barry Goodwin
Haverhill Family Practice staff, from left; Julie Williams-Wilson (practice manager), Rachel Mack (practice operations manager) and Zoe McDonald (assistant practice manager). Picture: Barry Goodwin

And Dr Firas Watfeh one of the practice’s six GPs, has outlined how much it and its patients had benefitted from the change.

He said: “It is a massive building.

“We have kind of doubled really in terms of size and consultation rooms and the capacity to take more patients on.

“The patient has not lost anything. We gained more space, more rooms and we gain more staff and provide better care to the patient.”

Dr Firas Watfeh says the move by Haverhill Family Practice into one single building in Camps Road is making a 'huge difference'. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Dr Firas Watfeh says the move by Haverhill Family Practice into one single building in Camps Road is making a 'huge difference'. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Additional staff, including paramedics, clinical pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, have been recruited to meet patient demand.

Taking over the adjoining building also meant the practice could provide a waiting room three times the current size, additional consulting (it now has 21 rooms) and treatment rooms and a dedicated entrance.

The reception area at the Haverhill Family Practice, in Camps Road. Picture: Barry Goodwin
The reception area at the Haverhill Family Practice, in Camps Road. Picture: Barry Goodwin

It has also gained six first floor rooms, used for administration, including managing e-consult, its online patient consultation system.

Having the extra space was proving beneficial to staff and patients alike.

Dr Watfeh, who has worked in Haverhill for 11 years, said: “The team is growing and the space is better for us. The service we provide has improved significantly.

The waiting room at Haverhill Family Practice has increased vastly thanks to its move to the adjoining part of the building.Picture: Barry Goodwin
The waiting room at Haverhill Family Practice has increased vastly thanks to its move to the adjoining part of the building.Picture: Barry Goodwin

“Having this extra additional space downstairs and upstairs, it’s made a huge difference.

“We have improved the way we work and the care we provide for our patients significantly in the last five years.

“The workload is going up and funding is getting tighter and tighter, but the way we provide care is quite good compared to other services.”

He added: “There is always a stress level attached to it when you work in two different sites but now we are in one building, so we can communicate better with each other and work more efficiently.”

Any patients who have not been contacted already by the practice, or those that may have further questions about the changes, can email haverhill.familypractice@nhs.net or visit the practice.

The deadline for comments to be made is April 12 at 6.30pm.