Partners statement – the building development project

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The partners at St Mary’s Surgery are delighted to announce that after a lot of dedicated hard work over the past two years, we now have full planning permission granted, funding in place and work will begin shortly on the redevelopment of the surgery premises. These major renovations will allow us to future proof the healthcare we provide for decades to come.

We are very thankful to East Cambridgeshire District Council for their contribution through the Community Infrastructure Levy, NHS England for ETTF funding, Cambridge Community Services for providing a location for our temporary premises, and for the ongoing support from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group.

As the building project continues to develop over the next 12 months, we will keep you updated on our progress. Do keep an eye on our website or Facebook page as we will post photos and information for you as the project develops.

Why we need to expand

We have been at No 37 St Mary’s Street since 1991 (prior to that in Chapel Street) providing comprehensive NHS healthcare to the people of Ely and local villages. However Ely is expanding and patient numbers are expected to grow year on year. Today, we provide healthcare services to over 16,000 patients and the scope of work we undertake has significantly increased over the years.

With new houses already being built across the area, demand for healthcare services continues to grow. Therefore, we want to do what we can now to maximise the surgery’s capacity to meet these needs.

To put it simply, we want to invest in the future healthcare needs of all our patients and the growing population of Ely and surrounding areas as well as maintain a city centre presence. An expanded, modernised and fully refurbished building will enable us to do that.

The current building at 37 St Mary’s Street will close to patients after close of play on Monday 20 December to allow us to move in to our temporary premises at the Princess of Wales Hospital (POW) site where we will operate from Tuesday 21 December. This will allow the builders to start their work early in the New Year. We anticipate being back in our lovely new building in November 2022.

Changes for patients

The first changes our patients will see is our dispensary from Monday 29 November making a short move across the road to 80 St Mary’s Street. Dispensary services will remain fully functional through the renovation project for our dispensing patients.

Patients wishing to collect medication, who normally collect from St Mary’s dispensary, should go to 80 St Mary’s Street. You will NOT BE able to collect your prescription from the temporary premises at the POW site.

If you live in Ely and have a query about your medication, please contact your nominated pharmacy.

Next, the clinical teams and support staff will move to temporary premises at the Princess of Wales Hospital site, Lynn Road, Ely CB6 1DN. Final preparations are being made to our new standalone ground floor building at the very front of the entrance to the hospital site. It will be clearly signposted and fully accessible to everyone from Tuesday 21 December.

There may be some minor temporary disruption as we move sites but we do not expect there will be any impact to the level of healthcare provision delivered to our patients.

askmyGP and our phone system will be working as normal and GP, nurse and appointments with other clinical staff will continue as planned.

Please do remember that from Tuesday 21 December, you should come to our new temporary surgery premises on the POW site for any face-to-face appointment you have. There is plenty of parking on site and the new building will be clearly signposted ‘St Mary’s Surgery’.

Frequently asked questions about the building project

The temporary surgery premises

  • Where should I go for my appointments?

The temporary surgery is at the front of the Princess of Wales (POW) hospital site, Lynn Road, Ely CB6 1DN. It is clearly signposted and visible as you come onto the hospital grounds.

St Mary’s Surgery portacabin – marked in green on the map
  • What are the opening times of the surgery when up at POW?

The same hours as we currently operate at St Mary’s Surgery: 08:20-13:00 and 14:00-18:00.

  • Where can I park when I have an appointment?

There is plenty of patient parking available at the POW site. And the surgery has parking spaces at the front of the portacabin. If you are coming to POW for a face to face appointment, please drive round the one way system as if you are exiting the site, and take a right turn into the car park in front of our temporary building.

  • Is there disability access?

There will be full disability access at the temporary surgery. All the clinical rooms are on ground floor level. 

  • Can I come in to book an appointment?

With our ongoing infection control measures we would advise using the online askmyGP service or by phoning reception on 01353 663434 to arrange an appointment.

  • I have to come by public transport. How do I get there?

Bus no 9 from Ely town centre. Buses leave regularly on Mondays-Fridays from Market Street going to the hospital site.

Find bus timetable.

All local taxi companies are also familiar with taking patients up to the hospital.

There is also East Cambs Social Car Scheme for people who need transport to hospital or GP appointments. Tel: 01353 666166.

  • Will I be able to still see my regular GP / nurse?

All our usual clinical staff will be based at the POW site for patient care.

  • How do I check in?

You will be able to check in via the normal check in screen or if you are having any difficulty, our helpful reception staff will assist you.

  • I normally use my mobility scooter to get to the surgery for my weekly appointments. My battery might be very low if I have to travel up to POW. Is there somewhere I can charge it?

Please ensure your mobility scooter is fully charged before travelling (the distance from the current surgery site to the POW via Lynn Road is only 1.7 miles).

  • How will the surgery ensure the temporary location is COVID secure for patients and staff?

As per NHS England guidance for all healthcare settings, strict COVID infection prevention control remains in place. This means all staff and patients are required to wear face coverings, unless exempt, and to continue to follow social distancing rules where possible.

If you are seeing a doctor, nurse or healthcare assistant, please be aware they will be using face coverings and other personal protection equipment. This is to keep both you and them as safe as possible.

Please also remember you have a responsibility to get a PCR test if you develop any new Covid type symptoms.

Contacting the surgery and requesting appointments

  • Are the telephone numbers the same?

Yes, the surgery telephone number remains the same – 01353 663434. Select option 1 from the menu to access reception or option 3 for dispensary (see dispensary opening times below). The reception phone lines are open 8.30am -12.45pm and 2.00pm- 6.00pm.

  • How do I contact dispensary?

The phone number remains the same – 01353 663434. Select option 3 to contact dispensary. The dispensary phone lines are open for queries from 9.30am-11.45am, and from 2.15pm-4.45pm.

  • Can I still use askmyGP?

Yes, you will still be able to fully use askmyGP to access help and support from the surgery and to check when your GP will be working.

  • Will I still be able to use SystmOnline?

Yes, you will still be able to fully use SystmOnline to request your medication and check your healthcare records.  

  • I have to collect paperwork from the surgery. Where do I pick it up?

If you have been asked to collect paperwork, please come to the temporary premises at the POW site during normal opening hours (8.20am-1.00pm, 2.00pm-6.00pm).

Due to infection control measures we endeavour to limit unnecessary visits to the surgery premises and will send most paperwork to you as an attachment via askmyGP, an attachment to your mobile phone or via email.

Using dispensary and collecting medication

  • I live in one of the local villages and I am a dispensing patient where can I collect my medication from?

Our dispensary team will be operating out of our building at 80 St Mary’s Street, just across the road from the main surgery building. If you are a dispensing patient, you will be able to collect your medication from there during normal opening hours (8.30am-1.00pm and 2.00pm-6.00pm). You can also arrange to have your medication delivered to your house or a central location in your village. Contact dispensary for more information.

  • Where do I drop off my repeat prescription slip?

Repeat prescriptions can be dropped off through the letterbox at no 80 St Mary’s Street or in the red post box at our temporary premises at the POW site during normal opening hours.

  • I order my medication online, can I still do this?

Yes. We encourage patients to use SystmOnline or the NHS App to order their repeat prescriptions. If you wish to register for online services, please contact our Patient Services Team on 01353 663434, selecting option 1.

  • Where can I park if I collect my medication from No 80 St Mary’s Street?

While you will be unable to park in the car park of no 37 while the building works goes on, there are a number of FREE car parks close by including Barton Road and St Mary’s Street. There is also parking on nearby residential streets.

  • Can I have my medication delivered to me? If so, how do I arrange this?

St Mary’s dispensary offers a FREE medication delivery service to eligible patients. If you wish to register for this, please contact the dispensary team, who will be able to advise you.

Other information

  • I come to the surgery for weekly appointments, do I still attend?

Yes, if you have routine appointments, eg dressings or injections, please attend as normal – at our temporary premises at the POW hospital site.

  • I am a new patient. Where do I go to register during the building programme?

You can download registration forms from our website. Please complete them and return to the surgery at POW during normal opening hours. Our website provides an email address if you wish to send your completed forms electronically. 

  • Where can I collect a samples bottle?

If your doctor or nurse has asked you to provide a sample, please ask at reception at the POW site for the appropriate bottle.

  • Where do I take my sample?

Please return your sample to the surgery at POW and drop it in the collecting bin provided by reception. You will NOT BE able to return your sample to dispensary at no 80 St Mary’s Street.

  • I have an out of hours’ appointment, where do I go?

Cambridge GP Network, which runs the out of hours’ clinics, will operate as normal from our temporary premises at the POW site. This is for both evening and Saturday out of hours’ appointments. If you are booked in for a face-to-face appointment, eg for dressing, for bloods, cervical smears, ear irrigation, etc., please come to the temporary premises at the POW site at the time given to you for your appointment. 

Please remember to wear your face covering, unless exempt.

The building project

  • How long will the building programme take?

The building project is expected to take just under a year and the surgery will operate from our temporary premises at the POW site until the new building is able to be open again. Dispensary services will be run out of no 80 St Mary’s Street.

  • Will the surgery let patients know about any more changes?

Yes, we will keep our patients informed of any further changes and up-to-date with the building project stages. Please do keep an eye on our website or Facebook page for more information.