THE new, multi-purpose health centre – which opened in Solihull this week – has welcomed its first patients.
Yesterday, the Solihull News visited the Lode Lane facility and met the people who will be running the clinic.
Dr. Sunil Kotecha, senior partner, said: “I think this centre will be useful to people who work during the day and find it difficult to make an appointment at conventional times. It will also be useful for people who are visiting Solihull from Birmingham, Coventry or elsewhere – they’ll be able to come in without any problems.
“We’re hoping that this centre is something we can build up over time and add more services.
Procedures which people quite often visit hospital for can be done here – which should make things so much easier.”
Ten patients visited the centre during the first day and by Thursday morning, a visitor had already registered with the practise.
“What I want to insist is that this clinic isn’t designed to replace any existing surgeries,” said Dr Kotecha. “We’re going to be working alongside the existing practises.”
Inside the new building, there is a range of different services.
Visitors will be able to have physiotherapy, cancer screenings and blood tests. Minor surgery will also be carried out on site – with staff treating problems like ingrowing toe nails.
Fifteen people will be manning the new centre – 12 of the posts were new and Solihull NHS Care Trust received 300 applications. Among the team are the equivalent of four full-time doctors, two nurses and a nurse practitioner.
Indra Jenking, who has taken the nurse practitioner role, said that a great deal of work had gone into getting the centre ready. And there are also plans to expand the number of services in the future.
But some remain concerned about the impact that the facility might have.
Maggie Throup, prospective Conservative MP for Solihull, said: “I think the problem is that the Government is taking a one-size fits all approach without really looking if an area like Solihull needs this type of health centre.”