Trust bucks cuts trend to announce £7.6m investment in healthcare estate

MORE than £7.6m has been earmarked to improve healthcare facilities in the East of England.

NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney revealed its investment plan at its annual general meeting recently, with capital projects in Beccles, Reydon, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Gorleston all receiving funding.

Beccles Health Centre will get a £845,000 boost for a new pharmacy. The move will in turn free up space in the main health centre for additional clinics, offices and training rooms, increasing capacity and allowing the centre to introduce new services such as minor surgery. Work is due for completion in 2013.

Reydon Healthy Living Centre will also get a facelift, with £750,000 spent on groundworks and additional buildings on a 2.4-acre plot formerly used as a playing field. Subject to confirmation of further funding, a new healthy living centre will also be developed to replace Southwold Surgery and provide facilities for community services.

Other works in the pipeline include:

  • A £1m invested in the conversion of the fire-damaged Congregational Hall in Greyfriars into a permanent home for the walk-in centre, with work due to be finished by the end of this year at a total cost of £2m. All of the services currently provided from the temporary building, such as blood tests, weight management and drug and alcohol services, will then transfer to the new building
  • £750,000 for ground preparation, infrastructure and enabling works to create a further building on the Greyfriars campus for primary care and community services
  • £950,000 to move the modular building currently housing the Greyfriars walk-in centre to Economy Road in Lowestoft. The facility will provide accommodation for local GPs and includes extra clinic rooms in a more modern environment
  • £200,000 to complete the new Shrublands Health Centre in Magdalen Way, Gorleston; a scheme that has received a total investment of £2.5m
  • £216,000 to refurbish the contraception and sexual health clinic in Regent’s Road, Lowestoft
  • £750,000 on backlog maintenance work across the PCT’s entire property portfolio
  • £50,000 on sustainability measures such as high efficiency boilers, solar panels and double glazing to reduce the impact of the estates improvements

This is a significant investment which will bring huge benefits to our patients by ensuring they can access high-quality services closer to home in a modern, fit-for-purpose environment

PCT chairman, David Edwards OBE, said: “This is a significant investment which will bring huge benefits to our patients by ensuring they can access high-quality services closer to home in a modern, fit-for-purpose environment.

“As demand for healthcare has risen, many of our services have outgrown their current premises and need to add additional capacity to help them continue to meet their patients’ needs. This extensive capital programme will ensure services across the whole of the area we serve can do just that, both now and in years to come.”