New move mooted for village surgery

By Ted JeoryHEALTH bosses have approved a plan to relocate an out-of-date GPs' surgery into temporary accommodation.Central Suffolk Primary Care Trust's board decided yesterday to press ahead with a proposal to move the Dedham surgery into the nearby Assembly Rooms while costings are carried out on a long-term solution.

By Ted Jeory

HEALTH bosses have approved a plan to relocate an out-of-date GPs' surgery into temporary accommodation.

Central Suffolk Primary Care Trust's board decided yesterday to press ahead with a proposal to move the Dedham surgery into the nearby Assembly Rooms while costings are carried out on a long-term solution.

The Constable Country Medical Practice, which operates in Dedham from a one-bedroom flat in Parsons Field, will fail to meet new accessibility standards in October 2004 and be forced to close.


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It was originally proposed to relocate the surgery - which caters for 1,400 patients in Dedham, Langham, Stratford St Mary and Boxted - to a modern medical centre in East Bergholt, a plan which villagers fought against and won.

Now it is proposed that the surgery will be replaced by purpose-built premises in Dedham, although negotiations about the final site have been going on for months.

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Norman Foster, director of health improvement at Central Suffolk Primary Care Trust, said work would now begin towards lodging a planning application for the surgery to use the Assembly Rooms.

“I think the board agreed with the general direction that all this was going and hopefully we can now start vacating the Parson's Field practice,” he added.

“If things go well, the idea is for the Assembly Rooms to be ready by the end of March next year.”

Mr Foster said the board had also agreed to look at costing out a long-term site, in particular one near the almshouses in the village.

Christopher Garnett, the Colchester borough councillor for Dedham and Langham, said: “Undoubtedly this is good news for us all. I don't think there is any real fear that this interim solution will simply become permanent.”

ted.jeory@eadt.co.uk

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