Over the Summer the Liverpool PCT ran a consultation about changes to the health service in Garston. There were two main strands to this. One was about the organisation of GP surgeries with a move towards grouping them so that there would be fewer locations but more on offer at the locations that remained or were created. The second strand was about Garston hospital becoming more of a centre with more services on offer.
You can see straight away that everyone would be in favour of more health services in Garston village all in the same place at the hospital which is near the station and bus routes and shops.
The problem here is that what is now at risk is a local landmark.
Colleagues and I had a briefing with a representative from the PCT very recently and the feedback from the consultation was that there was virtually no opposition shown to the potential loss of the building. Given the way the questions were worded, I am not surprised. They were, for the most part, about services rather than buildings. But I am pretty sure there will be major resistance to the loss of a landmark like this - particularly because it is on a hill. The PCT is saying that using the existing building will not work and there will need to be a new "landmark building" created. But I wonder if in fact it would be possible to keep some of the exterior despite making internal changes and extending.
The next step, and it is the step which will actually demonstrate if there is opposition, will be for the health service to put together a planning application which would go to the Council planning committee. This may be some way off in the future.
As someone who walks past the building on the way to work I must admit I am rather fond of it and wouldn't want to see the exterior go (although anyone who has been inside like I have will know that major changes are needed to bring it up to date).