Decision still awaited on health centre
SUPPORTERS of a long-awaited �9m medical centre near Southwold are still waiting for a decision on whether building work can begin. The centre would replace Southwold Surgery and house doctors, dentist and a pharmacy under one roof on a site already earmarked in neighbouring Reydon.
SUPPORTERS of a long-awaited �9m medical centre near Southwold are still waiting for a decision on whether building work can begin.
The centre would replace Southwold Surgery and house doctors, dentist and a pharmacy under one roof on a site already earmarked in neighbouring Reydon.
Practice manager at Southwold Surgery Alasdair Wilson said it had been a long wait since the first proposal for the centre in 2003.
The decision was put on hold earlier this year while the primary care trust, now called NHS Yarmouth and Waveney, finalised its five-year strategy, which involved reviewing developments across the whole area.
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'We are still optimistic,' said Mr Wilson. 'The delay is causing us a degree of frustration. We were promised an answer in September, we were assured we would get it in October, then we would definitely get it in November, without doubt it would be in December. It's a bureaucratic nightmare.'
He said the existing surgery in York Road could no longer cope with a growing population and the variety of care needed by patients.
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'Once we get the go-ahead to start building, we are going to plan how we fund other aspects of the centre, such as a nursing home which we want to have attached,' he said.
Mr Wilson confirmed that the group backing the Reydon and Southwold Healthy Living Centre hit its self-set target of signing up 1,000 supporters, who will have their say on what facilities the centre should include and how to fund extra services.
The new centre will aim to replace and expand all the services available from the surgery, Southwold Hospital and the district nurses. Also set up will be an improved social services and home carers network and a care home that can provide long-term nursing care for people with Alzheimer's disease and patients with complex nursing needs, so they can continue to live near their families.
A spokesman for NHS Yarmouth and Waveney said: 'Proposals for specific developments across the Yarmouth and Waveney area will be reviewed in the context of the estates strategy once it has been approved by the board in spring.'