Plans approved for £1.3m hospital extension to house doctor’s surgery

Plans to extend Newmarket Community Hospital have been approved Picture: NHS PROPERTY SERVICES

Plans to extend Newmarket Community Hospital have been approved Picture: NHS PROPERTY SERVICES - Credit: Archant

Plans for an extension at Newmarket Community Hospital to house the relocation of a doctor’s surgery have been given the green light.

Proposals for the new £1.3million extension to accommodate the town’s Oakfield Surgery at the hospital have been approved by Forest Heath District Council.

The decision did not go to the council’s planning committee but was approved under delegated authority.

Work on the new block at the hospital is expected to start later this year and could be completed as early as January 2020.

Oakfield Surgery’s current Vicarage Road home, which caters for around 7,000 patients, is set to be turned into 10 homes after planning permission was approved last year.

The relocation is the first step in developing the Exning Road hospital as a wellbeing hub for the town.

NHS Property Services said the established hospital site would provide a sustainable site for the expansion of services and facilities, in a suitable location easily accessible for the community.

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Paul Cross, portfolio optimisation manager at NHS Property Services, said: “We look forward to developing the new building and providing the surgery’s patients, doctors and staff with brand new facilities.

“The move to the hospital site will also be a significant first step in developing additional primary care facilities within an overall community health and wellbeing setting, complementing the services already provided by the hospital.”

The new surgery will be single storey and will provide a number of consulting and treatment rooms, meeting rooms, offices and staff facilities.

Cllr Robin Millar, Cabinet member for Families and Communities at Forest Heath District Council said: “I welcome this move to create a self-sufficient GP surgery on the Newmarket Community Hospital site. It will be located across the road from the council-owned Newmarket Leisure Centre, which I am sure will help make the connection between activity and health.

“From the community’s point of view, the new site, with parking and use of the public areas of the hospital, is something we have been trying to secure and I am pleased that progress is being made.”

Speaking in December, health secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock said it was a “vote of confidence” in the hospital.

“It is fantastic news that an extension will be built at the Newmarket Community Hospital to accommodate the Oakfield surgery,” he said.

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