New Cottingley doctor's surgery planned as health inspectors threaten to declare current site 'unsafe'

A new state-of-the-art healthcare centre could be built in south Leeds, as the clock ticks down on the future of a nearby GP practice.

By David Spereall
Saturday, 9th July 2022, 4:43 pm

Health inspectors have threatened to declare Cottingley Surgery “unsafe” because of the “dingy” building’s limitations, a planning meeting was told on Thursday.

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As a result, surgery bosses have set their sights on building a new complex a short walk away from the current site, next to the Cottingley Vale shopping precinct.

The old Cottingley Health Centre will soon have a brand new home, according to plans.

If the plan is realised, the new site could feature a pharmacy, hospital services for outpatients, physiotherapists, council services and a cafe, as well as the new surgery.

An alternative proposal to build the complex by Cottingley Playing Fields, off the A6110 ring road, was effectively ruled out by local councillors on Thursday.

Dr Mark Fuller, from the Fuller and Forbes Healthcare Group which runs Cottingley Surgery, said the new proposals would offer a “one stop shop” for patients.

He told councillors: “I’ve done this same design in Newcastle, Burnley and Devon and it’s worked very well.

“Cottingley Surgery was last inspected by the Care Quality Commission in 2018, who found several parts of the facility were not healthcare compliant.

“They suggested either improving them or moving as a matter of urgency as the site would be considered unsafe for the provision of healthcare.”

Previous efforts to move the practice, which serves 2,000 patients, close to Elland Road have had to be abandoned after the proposed site became unavailable.

Labour councillor Andrew Scopes, who represents the Cottingley area, backed the new plans, saying it was an opportunity to attract more people to the district.

Describing the current surgery building as “dingy”, Councillor Scopes said: “A larger site would ensure that Cottingley retains its GP practice, and if we have other people coming into Cottingley to get their medical needs met I can only see that as a good thing.

“Making Cottingley more of a destination wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.”

A nearby patch of green space may have to make way for car parking, but Coun Scopes said that loss had to be balanced against the dire need for a new centre.

“In my view it’s very easy to justify,” he added.

A detailed planning application for the scheme is now set to be submitted and will go before councillors for approval at a later date.