The future of Hightown village surgery is looking very exciting
The future of Hightown village surgery is looking very exciting. The solicitors acting for NHS Property Services have confirmed to Mr Ellis Hall-Lyon, the owner of the Hightown Village surgery building, that a five year lease is presently being signed and is due to commence within the next couple of weeks. This will offer stability to the practice in Hightown and offer much needed reassurance to its residents. NHS England were originally unsure as to the future of Hightown Village Surgery. Commissioning officers from NHS England's local branch had mistakenly confused the small village near Formby, with its population of just over 2,000 with a much larger area of Luton, known as High Town, with a population closer to 10,000 and had therefore assumed that only 18% or thereabouts of its population used the local surgery. In actual fact, approximately 90% of Hightown residents use their local surgery. Commissioning officers had also not taken into account the unusual demographics of Hightown's population; residents aged 50+ make up 54.2% of the local population, which is significantly higher than the national average of 34.9%. After clarification of these points with senior NHS England Director of Commissioning Services, Mr. Richard Barker, and the significant intervention of senior members of Sefton Council a significant turnaround of events took place, culminating in the position at present. An in-depth survey of Hightown Village Surgery building was commissioned and carried out by the District Valuer recently. The survey was carried out to assess the present facilities at Hightown Village Surgery, upon which NHS England have recently spent tens of thousands of pounds on internal renovations. These include full redecoration, re-carpeting, replacing all vinyl clinical floors and installing new upgraded clinical sink units, to name but a few. More importantly, the survey looked at the building's potential for expansion, in order to facilitate development of the site. The landlord, Mr Ellis Hall-Lyon, has clarified that he will guarantee that rental payments on the property will remain the same for the next ten years and will happily work with NHS England to expand the site in anyway that they require. NHS England also commissioned a travel survey, which will highlight private and public transport issues from this isolated village, particularly for the significant population of elderly residents that rely upon public transport. All this coupled with the tremendous response from residents, through letters, emails and telephone conversations, have obviously culminated in this extremely exciting chapter for the GP services in Hightown. It is believed that NHS England have spotted the potential of Hightown Village Surgery's unique location. The surgery is conveniently located directly at Hightown Railway Station and this is believed to be another reason for it's future security. Given the significant issues relating to capacity of patients at virtually all surgeries within Formby and Crosby, which will only escalate given the council's local housing plan, the potential for Hightown Village Surgery to take on patients that live in close proximity to Freshfield, Formby, Hall Road, Blundellsands & Crosby Railway Stations will be a major benefit. In addition, the Hightown surgery site also has an abundance of parking. There are ten car park spaces with the spacious car park and also on-road car parking. Using the Hightown Village Sugery as a 'overflow' surgery for the local area is ingenious and will potentially benefit all patients within the Formby, Hightown and Crosby areas. We will surely all agree, that NHS England's decision to save and potentially expand Hightown Village Surgery will benefit, not just existing and future residents of Hightown, but existing and future residents of Crosby and Formby alike.