Sudbury: First glimpses inside new community health centre

A look round the new Sudbury Health Centre which is due to open in January. Left to right, Isabel C

A look round the new Sudbury Health Centre which is due to open in January. Left to right, Isabel Cockayne, head of communications for West Suffolk CCG, Peter Clifford, chairman of Chilton Parish Council and Tony Wortley, senior project manager for Galliford Try Partnership. - Credit: Gregg Brown

A new £10 million community health centre in west Suffolk is nearing completion, with services expected to be up and running in the state-of-the-art facility by January.

The EADT was given an exclusive tour of the building in Church Field Road, Sudbury, which is around 20 weeks behind schedule due to problems with power installation and earlier delays caused by wet weather.

The centre – one of the biggest of its kind in the county – will replace the soon-to-be redundant Walnuttree Hospital, Acton Lane Clinic and St Leonard’s Hospital.

The ground floor will house a GP surgery with 12 consulting rooms, an x-ray room, a dental treatment suite, a mobile assessment unit where MRI scanning will be available on a regular basis, a pharmacy, a podiatry unit and audiology services.

The first floor will be home to midwifery and mental heath services, with consulting rooms and offices. Out of hours GP services will also operate from the centre.

Tony Wortley, senior project manager at Galliford Try Partnership, said: “It is unusual to have an x-ray facility in a centre of this kind and I am sure it will be widely used by the local community – it is a fantastic asset to the building.

“The blood testing facility will also be a welcome addition as the centre can be easily accessed and there is ample parking here, which is unusual for an NHS building these days.”

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Isabel Cockayne, head of communications at NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said all of the health services currently provided in the town would be available in the new building.

“We have a lot of teams working out of the neighbourhood and the beauty of this is being able to bring them all together under one roof,” she said.

“This is the first time we have seen the building with the fencing off and we are very close to completion. We will be fully up and running in January.”

Sudbury hospital WATCH group chairman, Peter Clifford, who has been involved in the health centre project for the past decade, said: “It is a great relief and quite exciting to see it all coming together with the signs going up and the rooms being completed.

“What’s really noticeable is the setting of the health centre, how it sits well in the countryside and the great views of Chilton church.”

There will be 120 parking spaces at the new centre. Mr Clifford added: “We have been working with the local transport organisations and two bus companies have agreed to run services with 30 stops a day (running from Sudbury bus station to the health centre).

“We hope to have a third bus company running a service from Great Cornard.”