Sudbury: Work on health centre to commence

An image of the proposed Sudbury Health Centre

An image of the proposed Sudbury Health Centre - Credit: Archant

BUILDING work on a long-awaited £10 million health centre will begin in the next two months, it has been confirmed.

Work on the state-of-the-art facility in Sudbury’s Church Field Road was scheduled to start last autumn but the project has been hit by a series of delays. In January, the scheme hit a further setback when the former West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust – one of the groups that will occupy the centre – had not signed a final tenancy agreement committing it to annual costs of £233,000 for its share of the lease and service charges.

When the building is complete - which is expected to be by autumn 2014 - a wide range of health services will be provided from the new centre. It will replace the current facilities at Walnuttree Hospital, St Leonard’s Hospital and Acton Lane Clinic.

Dr Christopher Browning, chairman of the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said the facility would provide Sudbury people with healthcare services “fit for the 21st century”.

He added: “Local people deserve the best possible healthcare and this project will significantly enhance health service provision in the area.

“The project has been ongoing for many years under the former primary care trust NHS Suffolk. The ongoing support and input from the local community, along with the hard work of NHS Suffolk estates staff mean the work can now begin.”

Anne Nicholls, chair of the Sudbury and Locality Implementation Group said: “People have waited more than 35 years for this and we are relieved the building work can start. We are grateful for the tenacity of staff in getting to this point.”

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Assura Group will be acting as developer and investor for the project. The company’s development manager Simon Gould, added: “There has been a huge amount of effort from many people to reach this milestone. We are confident that the development will significantly improve the standard of primary healthcare for the local community and we look forward to starting on site in a few weeks.”

Services that will be housed in the new building include paediatrics, dermatology, audiology, gynaecology, rheumatology, speech and language therapy, and GP services.