Last week our Director, Rachel Beverley-Stevenson was in conversation with Law firm Capsticks as part of their regular programme of webinars designed to provide specialist guidance for business owners. The webinar dealt with the intricacies of GP surgery redevelopment; how do you build something fit for the future? Capsticks provided delegates with an outline of things they should think about from a legal point of view, but what about the practical aspects of actually redeveloping?

Rachel was joined by Jonathan Kerry, Associate Director of Primary Care and Delivery (Wigan) at NHS Great Manchester Integrated Care, who OneMedical Property had recently worked with as one of the stakeholders on their Aspull Health and Wellbeing project. Now completed, Rachel and Jonathan were able to share some of the learnings from that case study, to give delegates examples of decisions that had had to be made and the considerations required.

Rachel talked about what she called the ‘Golden Rules’, the ways of working that OneMedical Group always use as their guide: The Rule of Six. But before you work through those elements, she spoke about the importance of reviewing your current space – is it being used to its full potential, essentially do you need to redevelop at all, but rather maximise the space you have instead.

At the very start of any project, Rachel and Jonathan stressed the importance of understanding what you’re trying to achieve. When you have a goal in sight then at any stage of the project you can always return to it and reassess work as needed. When you can clearly talk about what you’re doing and why then you can make a start.

Consideration should also be given to finding out what all your stakeholder groups want and need. When you understand their requirements then, as Rachel said, ‘You’re creating much more than community spaces but becoming instead part of a community dialogue.’  Talk to commissioners and local community groups to find out what is going on in the area, to give you a bigger understanding of what’s required and who else you could work with, perhaps even then inviting them to be part of your new redeveloped building. And when you’re embedded in the community, with a people-first approach, then your project should enjoy a smoother route to fruition.

The team at OneMedical Group are always available to talk to Practices at the start of their journey and wondering how to make the first move. Contact them on enquiries@onemedicalproperty.co.uk

Neil Dickinson