A RANGE of community health services provided at Boughton Health Centre are to be relocated to other Chester sites, as part of a shake-up at the practice.

Services such as psychology, midwifery, dermatology and paediatrics, which are operated by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) and the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (CoCH), will be relocated to two other health centres in Chester from March 2022.

The majority of the services will be relocated to Lache Health Centre at the other end of the city, about 2.6 miles away, with podiatry services for 92 patients going to Fountains Health in Delamere Street, about one mile away.

The Fountains Health building. Picture: Google.

The Fountains Health building. Picture: Google.

In a detailed statement on the Countess of Chester Hospital's website, the reasons for the services relocation are to allow Boughton Medical Group, which runs Boughton Health Centre (BHC), to make better use of the GP practice so it can provide additional primary care services for its local residents.

It said the GP practice is currently 44 per cent below the NHS England guidance for internal space, relative to the patient list size.

It added that by reusing the space from the vacated services, it would be able to serve more patients through an additional 30 clinic sessions a week, offering extended hours from April 2022, and become a Primary Care Network training hub to help future clinical pharmacists and nurses.

The additional space would also ease constraints at the nearby Park Medical Centre in Newton Lane, where portable buildings are currently being used.

CWP and CoCH services had been in place at the health centre for over 30 years, as part of a long-standing lease arrangement, but this expires on March 20.

Lache Health Centre. Picture: Google.

Lache Health Centre. Picture: Google.

Services to be relocated to Lache Health Centre are:

  • Paediatrics – which had been running about five sessions a week at BHC.
  • Dietetics – where there are currently no patients being seen at BHC since the start of the pandemic.
  • Midwives – where there were five weekly sessions, and about 250 patients on the caseload. Work is also ongoing to explore the potential to provide these services at local children's centres.
  • Orthopist – where there are currently no patients on the caseload at BHC.
  • Continence Advisory Service – where there was one weekly session and about 24 patients at BHC.
  • Speech and Language Therapy for children – which had about eight sessions per week and 25 families on the caseload at BHC. Lache Health Centre will continue to provide eight weekly sessions.
  • Dermatology – where BHC had one weekly session and 107 patients on the caseload. The service will provide a hybrid offer for appointments, including telephone appointments, virtual appointments and face-to-face consultations.
  • Psychology – where there are currently no BHC patients and clients are being seen virtually with digital consultations. New clients will be added to the caseload upon the service's relocation, with alternative arrangements offered at the Countess of Chester Health Park's 1829 Building and virtual appointments.

Patients and carers affected by the changes are being contacted this month to provide feedback on the relocation proposals.