A PETITION to change the boundary for health provision for Wickham Surgery has gained more than 1,200 signatures in its first month, as residents voice their concerns of GP services being ‘overwhelmed’ by new patients from the nearby Welborne development. 

The petition, started on February 6 by Dr Belinda Pope, an educational psychologist, has called for Wickham Surgery’s catchment area to be redefined to only include the 690 houses built during the first phase of construction.

Wickham Surgery, which currently has approximately 13,000 patients, had its first application for a boundary change rejected by the Primary Care Commissioning Committee last November.

This decision has left the entirety of the proposed Welborne area within the Wickham practice boundary.

Dr Pope 55, of Deergrass Walk, said: “We’ve had a lot of stuff to put up with lately. There was another petition related to Welborne, started by Kayleigh Rooke, because so many trees were going to be destroyed.

“As I work in the industry, I can say that Wickham Surgery works so well, and has some of the best services I've come across. They’ve built a relationship with the community, and their treatment here felt hugely unfair.

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“There were lots of comments about it on the local Facebook group, and I posted asking if I should put a petition together. I met local councillors to build a mock plan for the petition, and put it up on all platforms.

“The surgery can’t petition for itself, and I felt like the only one who was raising awareness for this.

"Without protections for the surgery, there could be a massive knock-on effect on the time to receive medication, waiting times will be longer, and it could become harder to access services, changing the way it's able to run.

“It will never be able to cope with the number of patients from Welborne. It feels as though Wickham is being expected to pick up the slack.”

A statement posted on Welborne’s website said: “Welborne is committed to onsite provision of primary medical and healthcare facilities for its residents, subject to the necessary ICB approvals. Following the provision of the initial surgery and pharmacy in the first construction phase, a larger healthcare facility will be built as the community expands.”

For more information or to view the petition, visit change.org/p/redefine-wickham-surgery-s-catchment-boundary-for-welborne-development.