Joy at Proposal for walk-in centre

PUBLISHED: 18:22 20 November 2008 | UPDATED: 12:21 03 July 2010

ACCESSIBLE SERVICES: The overgrown Greyfriars Clinic

ACCESSIBLE SERVICES: The overgrown Greyfriars Clinic

PLANS to provide a new seven-day-a-week, walk-in health centre on the derelict and overgrown site of the former Greyfriars Clinic and neighbouring Ship pub in Great Yarmouth have been welcomed.

PLANS to provide a new seven-day-a-week, walk-in health centre on the derelict and overgrown site of the former Greyfriars Clinic and neighbouring Ship pub in Great Yarmouth have been welcomed.

The centre, which is due to open by mid-2009, will provide GP services including blood tests, minor surgery, cervical screening, drug and alcohol services, weight management, stop smoking and sexual health advice.

Vaccinations and ECG tests will also be available.

Borough council deputy leader Cllr Barry Stone said: “We have been encouraging that sort of thing in that area for a number of years, so as far as we are concerned it is a good move. It was something we were working with Great Yarmouth and Waveney NHS to achieve anyway.”

He believed the clinic would be well used by local residents even though the last health centre on site closed in 2005.

Since then, the land has remained in NHS hands.

“It is an area where there is an identified need and the fact it is going to be a walk-in clinic should make it a lot easier for people to use when they need it,” Cllr Stone added.

A planning application submitted to the council are for the demolition of the existing clinic in Howard Street South, and its replacement by portable buildings to be used for up to three years.

These will provide a temporary home for the GP-led centre during the construction of a permanent building next door.

The project is part of a national scheme to provide 150 new health centres across the country, one in every health trust area. The government is giving £800,000 towards building and running costs.

The former pub will be used as part of the permanent building.

Sean Perry, who is leading the building project for NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said: “The centre will complement existing services and provide additional capacity to address the health needs of patients who live in the area which has the greatest need in the PCT.

“It represents a large investment in the health of the population we serve and will bring extra GPs, nursing staff, other health professionals and support staff to the Yarmouth area.”

He said the centre would open seven days a week throughout the year from 8am to 8pm and would offer appointments as well as a walk-in service without an appointment, offering care to both registered and non-registered patients.

“Estimates show that within five years, about 3,500 patients will be registered at the centre and 18,000 people will be using the service as a walk-in patient each year,” he said.

“We will be undertaking a tendering process to appoint a developer after the planning-consent stage, following which the final costs of the project will be known.”

The new surgery has been welcomed as a way of easing current capacity problems. Surgeries in the centre of Yarmouth are full, meaning patients are allocated on a rota basis and do not get to choose a surgery.

The problem is likely to become more acute when the town's Nelson Medical Centre moves across the river to a new surgery adjacent to the Cobholm and Lichfield Health and Resource Centre.

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