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Issue 288 – Major plans unveiled for new ‘health park’ in Frome

AN AMBITIOUS plan to create a new health park for Frome has been unveiled by NHS Somerset, who are looking for feedback from the general public.

Frome Medical Practice has acquired funding for the scheme that would create a custom-designed health centre next to Frome Community Hospital, and plans to apply for planning permission in the new year. The new facility, which would be built in the Frome showground area, would feature a doctors’ surgery, and opticians, dentists and a pharmacy. There would also be a minor operating suite on-site, and plans for visiting consultants and specialists to hold surgeries at the health centre.
However the plan would mean that the existing Park Road and Saffron surgeries would close to move to the new site, as would the Beckington Practice at Fromefield, meaning that the vast majority of Frome’s medical facilities would be concentrated in one spot in the north of town. Locks Hill surgery would remain where it is.
Dr Tina Merry, Frome Medical Practice senior partner said, “Originally the Frome Medical Practice was going to move with the new hospital to have a health park, but for various financial reasons that couldn’t be done. The Park Road surgery needs a lot of updating, and is too small for current activities.
“Now the NHS has agreed to set aside the funding to recreate the health park concept by building alongside the hospital. It will bring so much into Frome, it will really increase what we can offer the people of Frome. We will be consolidating the Park Road and Saffron surgeries into one site.
“I’m sure not everyone will be happy but it’s important to realise we only have funding for one building. I think it’s a very exciting opportunity for Frome.”
The Frome Medical Practice has 30,000 patients, virtually the entire population of the town. If the new 4,400 square metre health centre were to be created it would house 35 doctors. There are also plans for improved access, parking and public transport links to the site. Displays of the plans are currently being displayed in all of Frome Medical Practice’s surgeries and Frome Community Hospital, and the practice is keen to hear feedback from members of the public before planning permission is sought in the new year.
Sue Palmer, Frome Medical Practice patient liaison manager said, “It’s an exciting and ambitious plan for a town the size of Frome. I think to sum it up, it will provide the best level of care for Frome residents now and in the future. I’m really really excited about it. I think if it goes ahead and we secure this facility next to the hospital then there won’t be any town in the country of a similar size with such a range of services all in the same setting of a health park.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for Frome to acquire health services second to none.”
You can view the plans for the proposed development at Frome Medical Practice’s surgeries and Frome Community Hospital, and can offer feedback via fromehealthpark@fromemedicalpractice.nhs.uk.

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