The local NHS wants to convert an empty ward in Walton Community Hospital to a GP practice to benefit the growing Walton community.
By relocating Fort House Surgery from its premises on Hersham Road to the vacant Burwood Ward, more local people can register to receive essential GP services.
A previous planning application to relocate the surgery was rejected by Elmbridge Borough Council in February 2019, primarily due to concerns around overspill parking. A new application that addresses these issues was submitted in October 2020.
Responding to your feedback
We have listened to local residents, councillors and the Elmbridge Borough Council Planning Committee and used their feedback to address the concerns about potential for overspill parking.
- 21 car parking spaces will be added to the site, creating a total of 132 spaces for the sole use of patients and staff of the GP practices and Walton Community Hospital. The images below show where the additional parking would be.
Digital triage and consultations
- As a result of the ongoing shift to providing more of our services digitally, the demand for parking at our sites is reducing significantly.
- Across Surrey patients have consistently given positive feedback about video and telephone consultations and accessing other healthcare services online.
- Over 60% of Fort House patient requests were managed without the need for a face-to-face appointment in August 2020.
- The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in more online and telephone consultations. In the long term we anticipate this continuing and around 40% of people will be supported through digital services without the need to visit their GP practice. In-person GP consultations will continue to be available for patients that need them.
Improving care for Walton residents
The demand for GP services in Walton is increasing. More housing has been approved and five local GP practices have stopped registering new patients as they have reached capacity. This means people moving to the area are finding it difficult to access essential healthcare. It is also causing significant pressure on staff and the buildings they work from.
We want to use an empty NHS facility to ensure local residents can access a wide range of GP services from a modern and accessible site. If the planning application is approved, Fort House Surgery will be able to open its list to register new patients. This would be done in a controlled and sustainable way.
Watch our online meeting and Q&A with local residents
On 16 November 2020 we held an online meeting where CCG and Fort House Surgery representatives explained our proposal and answered questions from local residents. The meeting was open to everyone and we had 17 local people join us to share their thoughts and a variety of interesting questions. You can replay the meeting by using the link below.
How to share your views
1. Submit feedback to Elmbridge Borough Council
To have your feedback formally considered by the Planning Committee please view the full application and share your comments on the Elmbridge Borough Council website.
Search for the application using the following application number: 2020/2854
2. Contact the CCG
If you would like to discuss or ask questions about the proposals you can also contact NHS Surrey Heartlands CCG using the details below.
- Telephone: 0300 561 1555
Planning Documents and Background Information
You can view the planning permission documents and you can read further information about the overall proposal in the following documents:
- Planning Permission documents (via Elmbridge Borough Council website)
- pdf Case for Change (936 KB) - includes the benefits for people living in and moving to Walton-on-Thames related to this proposal
- pdf Frequently Asked Questions (390 KB)
- pdf Engagement Report (743 KB) - on what we did to involve local people and stakeholders in the process
- Transport Assessment (via Elmbridge Borough Council website)
- pdf Travel Plan (1.88 MB)
If you need this information in another language or format, please contact us using the details at the bottom of this page.
The planning consultation was due to end on 10 December 2018. This was extended by Elmbridge Borough Council to 11 January 2019, which the CCG supported in order to ensure local people could express their views.
Update following appeal decision - November 2019
In September 2019 the CCG formally lodged an appeal against the planning decision of Elmbridge Borough Council to refuse the change of use of the empty Burwood Ward to house Fort House GP surgery.
This appeal was rejected in November 2019 primarily on the grounds that further information was needed regarding the proposed additional car parking area, the quantifiable impact of digital transformation of services on parking demand and the absence of a cap in patient numbers.
The CCG and Fort House surgery remain committed to finding a solution to enable the practice to operate from a modern and accessible space that meets the needs of patients.
We are meeting imminently with Elmbridge Borough Planning Officers, with the aim of quickly establishing the availability of feasible alternative estate in the area to house the GP practice. The outcome of this will determine whether we go back to the planning committee with an amended appeal.
In parallel we are working with partners, including CSH Surrey, to consider the future of Burwood Ward. As an empty space that costs the local NHS £200k per year it is essential we find a way to use this for local people’s health and wellbeing.
Activity on this will progress at pace only after all options to house Fort House Surgery on the site have been exhausted. It will also consider the broader context of emerging plans for neighbouring areas such as Weybridge and Molesey.
We will continue to keep this page updated and share the latest information with partners when available.
Update following planning committee decision - February 2019
The CCG’s planning application to change the use of Burwood Ward in Walton Community Hospital from C2 to D1 (and so suitable for a GP practice) was refused by local councillors at the North Area Planning Committee on Monday 4 February 2019. It had been recommended for approval with conditions by the council’s Planning Officer whilst the County Highways Authority recommended the Transport Assessment and Travel Plan.
The reason for refusal was given as follows:
"The proposed development would fail to provide sufficient car parking for the numbers of users of the application site and the wider Walton Community Hospital and Walton Health Centre which would result in an increase in parking stress in the local area and have a detrimental impact on the users of that site and the amenities of the neighbouring properties and locality. This would be contrary to policies DM2, DM7 and DM9 of the Elmbridge Development Management Plan 2015."
For further information:
- Telephone: 0300 561 1555