Plans for extension at community hospital 'a welcome move' for healthcare in Newmarket
PUBLISHED: 07:30 11 December 2018 | UPDATED: 08:54 11 December 2018
Plans for a new block at Newmarket Community Hospital to house the relocation of a doctor’s surgery in the town have been submitted.
Proposals for the £1.3million extension to accommodate Newmarket’s Oakfield Surgery at the hospital are expected to decided by Forest Heath District Council in January.
If approved, work is expected to start next summer with an estimated completion date of January 2020.
Oakfield Surgery’s current Vicarage Road home, which caters for around 7,000 patients, is set to be turned into ten homes after planning permission was approved this year.
The relocation of the GP practice is seen as the first step in developing the Exning Road hospital as a wellbeing hub for the town.
Health secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock called the news 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.
“Having our excellent GPs and primary care staff on the Newmarket Community Hospital site is a welcome move for healthcare in the town.
“This is a vote of confidence for our brilliant community hospital and I’m so pleased to see the expansion of the hospital going ahead.”
According to the application, a comprehensive consultation has been carried out by the hospital, Oakfield Surgery and NHS Property Services to ensure the “optimum scheme” is created.
The overall objective for the extension is to achieve “a sustainable and visually in-keeping addition” to the existing building, according to the plans.
NHS Property Services said the established hospital site would provide a sustainable site for the expansion of services and facilities, in a suitable location which is easily accessible for the community.
A spokesman for NHS Property Services said: “The project to relocate Oakfield Surgery to the Newmarket Community Hospital site integrates primary care services with the current services at the hospital as part of wider plan to create a health and wellbeing hub.
“NHS Property Services are delighted to be able to support this extension to the hospital which is the first significant step in developing additional primary care facilities and are confident in the planning application process.”
The proposed new surgery would be single storey, with a similar design to the existing hospital building, and will provide a number of consulting and treatment rooms, meeting rooms, offices and staff facilities.
Paul Cross, portfolio optimisation manager at NHS Property Services, said: “NHS Property Services is delighted to support the new extension to the Newmarket Community Hospital for the Oakfield Surgery.
“We look forward to developing the new building with our partners and providing the surgery’s patients, doctors and staff with brand new facilities. “The move to the hospital site also be a significant first step in developing additional primary care facilities to complement the services already provided by the hospital.”