GP surgery moves to shared site with Basildon Sporting Village in a first for Essex

GP surgery moves to shared site with Basildon Sporting Village in a first for Essex

A new GP surgery next door to the Basildon Sporting Village will allow members of the public to combine their health and fitness experiences as local residents will be able use both facilities as part of a new innovative partnership.

Basildon Sporting Village, at the northern end of Gloucester Park in Basildon, now has a temporary building on its site where Knights Surgery will move to next month. This relocation offers a chance to link GP-led services for Knights patients with the health and wellbeing offer from the Sporting Village.

The project also brings Knights Surgery closer to most of its 2,500-plus patients. The surgery has been using space in Fryerns Medical Centre in eastern Basildon for its face-to-face appointments since its original premises in Knights, Basildon, became structurally unsound some years ago. Ever since, its patients have been travelling across town for face-to-face appointments.

Dr Asad Tawfik, GP Partner at Knights Surgery, said: “Our shared surgery premises are not in the best of locations for our patients and our original building is beyond economical repair. So I am looking forward to offering our patients not only more space closer to their homes, but great wellbeing services from Basildon Sporting Village next door.

“The new site is less than a mile from our original premises in Knights on foot, or a mile and a half’s drive by car or bus. I’m delighted to say a new minibus service running from Laindon to Basildon town centre via Knights, the Sporting Village, Basildon Hospital and local shops is being subsidised for a year by the NHS to make the journey even easier.

“There should be real benefits for our community from the new transport link, the shorter journey to their GP practice and services next door in Basildon Sporting Village we can signpost people to if they would benefit from them.

Basildon Council owns the Basildon Sporting Village site, which sports and leisure specialist Everyone Active runs on their behalf. They have worked with the local NHS to make sure the new Knights Surgery building can offer Basildon residents GP-led services fit for the 21st century.

Leader of Basildon Council Cllr Andrew Baggott said: “The relocation of Knights Surgery to Basildon Sporting Village will benefit the surgery’s patients by joining together high-quality GP care with world-class sporting and exercise facilities.

“We want Basildon to be home to healthy and active local communities and we are proud that the council’s own Basildon Sporting Village will be home to this unique partnership. Working with partners in this way will reduce health inequalities in the borough.”

The collaboration between the different bodies means that, in a first for our area, sports centre facilities will be directly linked to the care offered by a GP practice. Everyone Active will have incentives and offers especially for patients registered at Knights Surgery.

Everyone Active area contract manager Shaun Beagle said: “It will be great to welcome people from Knights Surgery to the Sporting Village and help them improve their wellbeing. The GPs and their clinical team can recommend exercise and other services here that support people’s health outcomes.

“For example, Everyone Active currently offers free memberships to people living with Parkinson’s as it’s proven that being physically active can play an important role in living well despite the condition.

“We also host Sport for Confidence, an organisation with occupational therapists and coaches who support people by removing the barriers they may face when trying to access sport and physical activity.

“Basildon Sporting Village already has a successful GP referral programme which will only be enhanced through the relocation of the surgery. The centre also has a partnership with Connect Health, who offer physiotherapy and related services. Knights patients could benefit from treatment plans including advice and specific exercises to help them self-manage long-term health conditions.”

Dr Tawfik said: “Anyone who is uncertain what the move will mean for them and whether our move will have a negative effect is welcome to contact the practice. We have a list of common questions on our website that we hope will address most queries.”

Further information (including a question-and-answer list) and a list of other ways to share your views are available from the practice website at knights.gpsurgery.net

Jamie Langstone
JLangstone@savs-southend.co.uk