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Village consulted over possible plan to locate GPs’ surgery at school 3 March 2011

AN initial meeting has been held to discuss the possibility of locating surgeries by Ramsey GPs at Michael School.

The meeting, hosted by Eddie Teare MHK, Minister for Education and Children, and David Anderson MHK, Minister for Health, took place at the school yesterday.

Michael MHK David Cannan MHK, Michael Commissioners and the school’s headteacher, staff and governors attended.

The school building has surplus capacity and an area in the oldest part has been identified that could be divided off from the rest of the school, giving the GPs a separate entrance, waiting room, consulting room and toilets, the gathering was told.

To avoid congestion, surgeries would not operate at times when the school’s 131 children are arriving or leaving.

When Ramsey GPs hold surgeries in Kirk Michael they currently operate out of Cannan Court sheltered housing complex but the facility is only temporary and they have insufficient space there.

Mr Teare explained that he had been searching for suitable existing premises to house a GPs’ surgery in Kirk Michael since he was Health Minister, his previous post, and was pleased to work with Minister Anderson towards a potential solution.

However, it was very much up to the people of the village to decide whether or not the plan went ahead. Michael Commissioners have agreed to gauge public opinion among villagers and report back to the two Departments at the end of March.

The plans can be viewed at the commissioners’ office or at parents’ evenings being held at Michael School next week. If villagers think the plan should progress, the next step would be to talk to the GPs about what service could be provided and then draw up and agreement between the Departments of Education and Children and Health over the usage of the school. Of paramount importance would be making sure the school was unaffected.

Then a planning application would be lodged. The meeting heard the cost of conversion, while not fully calculated, as neither Department wishes to proceed in detail if it is not the wish of the village, would be less than £100,000.

The premises would be leased to the Department of Health by the Department of Education and Children.

Mr Teare said the creation of a doctors’ surgery in a school ‘would mark a first for the Island’ and could be a unique community solution.

Minister Anderson said that even if the scheme went ahead, a planning application would need to be submitted by his Department to extend the temporary use of Cannan Court by GPs while the surgery in the school was created.

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