Beccles Health Centre proposals submitted

IMPORTANT proposals to revamp health facilities in Beccles have been submitted to planners.

As previously reported in the Journal, patients in the town are to benefit from improved facilities after health chiefs agreed a programme of investment.

Last month, NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney’s board approved a business case to provide extra capacity at Beccles Health Centre.

The work comes after the primary care trust (PCT) completed an �800,000 refurbishment of Beccles Hospital.

The �209,000 second phase will see existing space in the health centre, which is on the hospital site, refurbished and transformed into additional consulting rooms, while work will begin on creating a new waiting area.

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During the next financial year, it is hoped a lift will be added to improve access for disabled or older patients and that some enabling works will take place with a view to relocating the pharmacy in the future.

Longer-term plans for the Beccles site, costing an estimated �1.4m, will be the subject of a bid for funding from NHS East of England in 2011/12.

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Plans for extension works at the health centre have been submitted to Waveney District Council and will be considered in due course.

A report by Architects LSI says that NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney is looking to “give an extra lease of life” to the Beccles Hospital, providing a potential 20 years of extra life.

The report says that a single story extension will provide additional waiting area space to comply with current minimum NHS standards and much-needed disabled access to the first floor.

On the ground floor, a two-story extension will provide office space and a secure dedicated staff entrance.

On the first floor there will be a staff room and training room as well as additional consult/exam rooms.

Kate Gill, director of corporate affairs at NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, has said of the scheme: “The GP practice in Beccles has grown considerably over the years, and is now the largest in the PCT area with more than 20,000 registered patients.

“As such, it has significantly outgrown its current premises and urgently needs additional capacity from which to provide services.”

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