Hospital move gives Newmarket's Oakfield Surgery a ‘new lease of life’
Staff at the town's newest doctors’ surgery have been adjusting to life in their new premises at Newmarket community hospital.
Oakfield Surgery, which has relocated to the hospital site from Vicarage Road, has already had a visit from health secretary Matt Hancock, and the town’s MP is expected back again next month for the official opening of the new practice.
The surgery’s relocation to the new £1.3 million extension is first phase of a wider-ranging initiative to develop the much-loved former general hospital into a health and wellbeing hub for the people of the town and surrounding villages.
And Mr Hancock said the link up would help secure the future of the hospital for the years ahead.
GP partner Dr Nick Rayner, who is also executive chairman of Suffolk Primary Care and clinical director of East Suffolk Primary Care Network, said the new surgery was nearly twice as big as the previous one with a capacity for 12,000 patients.
It currently has 7,200 registered. The current team includes five GPs, a nurse practitioner, three community nurses, a paramedic and healthcare assistants and is soon to be joined by a physiotherapist.
“Moving here has given us all a new lease of life and we look forward to developing even more services for our patients,” said Dr Rayner.
He said the coronavirus pandemic had seen the number of patients attending the surgery drop but the situation was now starting to recover and numbers were back to 12 per cent higher than before the virus struck.
“The message from us is that we are here for our patients when they need us,” said Dr Rayner. “They can contact us online or for those not online our receptionists are always here to help.”
The surgery is also involved in the training of the medical practitioners of the future with a room set aside for junior doctors and medical students. It also offers the opportunity for trainee nurses doing their degrees at the University of Suffolk to shadow experienced nurses during their final placements. “The aim being to give then a real flavour of the NHS,” said Dr Rayner.
Another of his long term aims is to re-introduce an out of hours hub service at the practice three evenings a week until 8.30pm and on one Saturday every month.