New health centre plans stall amid confusion surrounding risk assessment process

Lace Hill health centre site plan
Lace Hill health centre site plan

Some uncertainty was revealed at the latest Health and Social Care (HASC) committee meeting surrounding the planning and risk assessment of the proposed new health centre at Lace Hill.

Some uncertainty was revealed at the latest Health and Social Care (HASC) committee meeting surrounding the planning and risk assessment of the proposed new health centre at Lace Hill.

Councillor Steven Lambert

Councillor Steven Lambert

Currently, the planning application appears to have stalled after Buckingham Town Council challenged the original plan, only for a new application to be submitted with many of their concerns unaddressed.

At the recent meeting on the 2 October, committee chairman councillor Brian Roberts queried the lack of response to a question submitted on the 28 November last year by councillor Robin Stuchbury regarding the status of the Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) for the new site.

Speaking to Robert Majilton, deputy chief officer of Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), councillor Roberts said pointedly:

“Can you please ensure that we in the HASC are informed of what's going on. We've been asked all sorts of questions and we don't have the answers we're supposed to have. We are a statutory body and that's what we're here for, so if I could remind you of that it would be appreciated.”

Following on from this, councillor Steven Lambert challenged Dr George Gavriel, a GP managing partner at the Swan Practice, about the status of the EIA.

This kicked off a somewhat bizarre and prickly exchange where Dr Gavriel initially responded by saying:

“This isn't the right time.”

Councillor Lambert replied:

“Before you start a project you will have started a risk register, surely?”

He also pointed out that the results of the EIA could undermine the whole project.

Dr Gavriel then gave a seemingly out of context defence of the need for the new health centre, to which councillor Lambert said:

“I get that, but I'm still concerned that you haven't done this piece of work,” adding, “I'm sorry but it's the minimum that should be done in order to understand what your project is doing.”

Speaking to the newspaper Mr Lambert, who works as a risk assessment and project manager, said:

“It raises eyebrows for me – it's the first time I've seen anything like that.”

Regarding the status of the planning application, Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) provided this paper with the following statement:

“This application is currently awaiting consideration by the Planning Inspectorate, and therefore, it would not be appropriate for AVDC to comment publicly on the application at this stage.”

Mr Stuchbury’s original question submitted in November 2017 read:


“I am seeking assurance that the following will take place; that the Clinical Commissioning Group will undertake an Equality Impact Assessment before any changes are agreed or implemented.”