Clinic’s extra space will make it look much more like a . . . clinic

Bellshill Community Health Clinic will offer more services to patients - but GP practice remains in the building.
Bellshill Community Health Clinic will offer more services to patients - but GP practice remains in the building.

A clinic forced to share space with a Bellshill GP practice says it will soon be able to offer patients the services it was built to provide.

Health bosses have been criticised for allowing doctors from John Street Surgery to remain at Bellshill Community Health Clinic for six years.

The surgery, which was not insured properly, was destroyed by fire in late 2009 and the plans for a replacement have not yet materialised.

As a result of losing space, the clinic has been unable to offer the range of services it should.

However, NHS Lanarkshire says that after a £40,000 “reconfiguration of space” services such as community midwifery, child assessments, psychological services and immunisation will be provided from April.

The John Street practice will remain at the clinic “pending alternative premises proposals being discussed between the practice and NHS Lanarkshire”.

Stephen Kerr, of NHS Lanarkshire, said: “All NHS boards are required to review their estate regularly to ensure that best value is achieved and assets are fully utilised.

“Our property and support service staff identified areas where improvements could be made in Bellshill and how we could utilise the clinic’s space.

“The services which will relocate to the clinic are already provided locally. However, housing them in the one base will provide patients with a one-stop health shop in a central location with good public transport links and also help us improve efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint.”

Bellshill Community Council members John Devlin and Joe Gorman revealed two years ago that the John Street doctors had no insurance when their surgery burned down.

This week they branded “unbelievable” the decision to spend £40,000 modifying the clinic “so it can accommodate the very services that should have been available before John Street practice took up residence”.

They added: “When the NHS is under so much pressure it is ridiculous to spend this on alterations to what was supposed to be a brand new clinic to allow the continued presence of the John Street practice.

“The handling of this matter by NHS Lanarkshire can only be described as questionable and should be investigated at the highest level.”