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New health centre could be open soon

PUBLISHED: 12:03 18 November 2008 | UPDATED: 12:18 03 July 2010

A new seven-day-a-week, walk-in health centre in Yarmouth could be open as early as next summer.

Plans have been submitted to the borough council for the demolition of the existing Greyfriars Clinic, in Howard Street South, and its replacement by portable buildings to be used for up to three years.

A new seven-day-a-week, walk-in health centre in Yarmouth could be open as early as next summer.

Plans have been submitted to the borough council for the demolition of the existing Greyfriars 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.

Sean Perry, who is leading the building project for NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said: “If the application is approved, the centre will open by mid 2009 and will provide GP services along with blood tests, minor surgery, cervical screening, drug and alcohol services, weight management, stop smoking and sexual-health advice, vaccinations and ECG tests.

“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 the Cobholm and Lichfield centre.


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