Marksbury Road Surgery – concern about design

It’s been five months since the £4 million Marksbury Road Surgery opened its doors – and staff report things have settled down well after the first teething issues.

Part of the Bridge View Medical Group, the building has been designed across two floors with a pharmacy on site.

On the first floor are six treatment rooms for practice nurses, a room for minor operations and 11 GP and nurse practitioner rooms.

This has allowed the centre to provide a home for the community midwives and a weekly specialised diabetic clinic run by Bristol Community Health.

The building has also been given a BREEAM excellent rating for its environmental credentials which include solar panels on the roof to heat its water and a sustainable drainage system.

But some patients are not so happy with the design. Although loving the fact the new building is so “light and airy”, Ted Cockrell, former Chair of the Patients Committee at the old Wedmore Practice, said he was concerned about the reception and main services being on the first floor.

And he was worried it would not be so easy for people to vacate the building if there was a fire.

He said: “…When the plans went on display for patient comments, most were shocked that they found they had to go upstairs.

“They made their views known it was a bad idea, most receptions in any building are on the ground floor and some people do not like using lifts…”

Ted said since the move from Wedmore Vale it had also been harder to see your preferred doctor.

He also felt there should have been a sign on the old surgery in St John’s Lane to say where they had moved to – as some people had no idea where to go.


Design constraints

A spokesperson for Bridge Medical Group, Practice Manager Brent Stephen, said at the planning stage there were certain constraints – such as the sloping site – which architects had to work within.

“We believe it’s essential to keep all the clinical services on the one level and clustered around the waiting area…  The only level that could accommodate all the clinical services was the first floor, allowing us to co-locate the various administrative functions on the ground floor which is a lot smaller in area.”

He said there were two lifts in the building – the second for staff – which could be used in an emergency and there was also an evacuation chair to help patients.

A new Care Navigation Model was introduced just two weeks after the move to Marksbury Road.

“In readiness… we recruited additional advanced nurse practitioners and pharmacists …Since introducing the new Model – demand has remained high but complaints have greatly reduced.

“Prior to the move we put information up on our website, on posters in the old Surgery and we undertook a large leaflet drop … of the 2,000 patients who had accessed the old site in the previous three months…”