Simon Baynes MP for Clwyd South “cut the ribbon” on Friday (9 October) at the official opening of Overton Post Office at Overton Medical Practice in Overton, near Wrexham. This restored a full-time Post Office to Overton.
MP Simon Baynes said: “A Post Office and a medical centre provide vital services to a community and it is great that Overton Medical Practice is now able to provide both services under one roof. The village also benefits from a full-time Post Office again”.
Overton Community Council Councillor, Charlotte Copeman, who also attended the official opening event, said: “It is great news to have a full-time Post Office once again, which makes it very convenient to visit. Overton Medical Practice has carefully thought through how patients and Post Office customers can both visit”.
The previous Overton Post Office closed temporarily in September 2018 due to the resignation of the postmaster. When the medical practice heard of plans for the branch to close, they were worried about the impact on the local community and also for them due to all of the patient mail that they needed to post.
Overton Practice Business Manager, Tony Marriott, said: “We then thought, wouldn’t it be a wonderful opportunity if Overton Medical Practice could provide the solution by incorporating a full-time Post Office alongside the reception counter. The partners of the practice agreed as given that we are a local service provider this would sit very well with our role supporting the local community”.
The officer in charge of Overton Post Office is Debbie Churchill, who has more than 18 years’ experience working at Wrexham Post Office.
For the past two years there has been a temporary hosted outreach service on a Wednesday morning in the Village Hall whilst plans were finalised for the Post Office at the surgery. This service was provided for by the Postmaster for Bryn Hafod, Jolene Fleet.
The planned opening at the Medical Centre was delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Special measures have been introduced because of the pandemic as only five people can be in the waiting area at a time. Post Office customers have to take a number ticket at the entrance to the medical centre, then await their turn to enter when called forward.
Patients and Post Office users are asked to use hand sanitiser and they have to answer Covid-19 questions before they enter the main building. The Post Office counter is alongside the reception desk. Both patients and Post Office users have to wear masks, which is also a requirement in all Post Offices across the UK.