Posted by Daniel Harper at 25/07/2019 13:22:35
Building work on a brand new and innovative medical centre development in Canterbury is now officially underway with a silver spade ceremony taking place this week to mark the start of the construction phase. Representatives from Canterbury Medical Practice, NHS Canterbury and Coastal CCG, East Kent Hospitals, Canterbury City Council and Assura were all on hand to celebrate the scheme reaching this key milestone, having worked closely together to achieve all necessary approvals.
The brand-new medical centre development is being co-located on the Kent and Canterbury Hospital site and run by the GPs at Canterbury Medical Practice, replacing their outdated Cossington House and London Road premises with a single, state-of-the-art building.
Canterbury Medical Practice will be moving from cramped and outdated premises which are no longer suitable for the expanding and extended range of services that can be offered in a community setting. Co-location onto the hospital campus (with its own dedicated patient car park) will allow the GPs and their patients to benefit from a greater co-ordination of primary care services and improve patient care and access. The new building will provide an enhanced facility and space for extra services with 12 consulting rooms, four treatment rooms and over 10,000 sq ft of accommodation all designed to meet the latest environmental and sustainable standards.
Scheduled for completion in summer 2020, the development is one of the first new-build GP premises in the country to have received capital funding from NHS England’s Estates and Technology Transformation Fund (ETTF) and has been identified as a priority scheme for NHS Canterbury and Coastal CCG for a number of years. The premises is being developed and co-funded by primary care property specialists Assura who have Kent-based construction company Jenner Contractors to carry out the enabling works and main build contract.
Dr Bill Lloyd-Hughes, Canterbury Medical Practice commented “We are delighted that, after a long wait, we will soon be able to welcome patients from our Cossington House and London Road premises to our new facility – we are all looking forward to moving in next summer as soon as construction work has finished. We’ve no doubt that our new premises will be an attractive environment for GPs and other members of the practice team to work in, and for all our patients to visit.”
Susan Acott, Chief Executive of East Kent Hospitals who enabled the scheme to take place by working with local health partners and releasing the land for development added “This is a great example of the NHS working together to improve facilities and services for local people and I am delighted we were able to help make this scheme a reality. We’re looking forward to working even more closely with our colleagues in primary care to deliver great health care for our community.”
Caroline Selkirk, Managing Director of NHS Canterbury and Coastal CCG who supported the scheme as a priority project, securing national ETTF funding as part of the funding process said “The funding of key pieces of primary care infrastructure and estate like this is a core part of the NHS Long Term Plan, ensuring that we continue to future-proof primary care services for the GPs and patients in Canterbury. This development will mean that patients can benefit from improved modern facilities that will continue to support the provision of high-quality care.”
Leader of Canterbury City Council, Cllr Rob Thomas, said: "When planning applications for housing are considered, you'll often see comments from concerned residents about a lack of infrastructure such as roads, schools and GP practices. I'm delighted for residents that this innovative approach for a new GP practice at Kent and Canterbury Hospital will be delivered in the coming months and pay tribute to those who have brought this scheme forward.
"This is another step towards the wider ambition of the council for world class health facilities in the district, including a full service hospital with A&E and maternity, the universities' medical school and a nationally revered service at Estuary View in Whitstable."
Jon Webb, Senior Development Manager at Assura commented “We’re really pleased to be starting construction on this much-needed medical centre for Canterbury, it’s been a huge effort by the wider team to get to this stage and especially exciting to be working on one of the first new-build developments to receive ETTF funding.”