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Issue 306 – Green light for new health centre

FROME Medical Practice has received planning permission to go ahead with its ambitious plans for a new health centre.

The new 4,400 square metre health park will house 35 doctors and include a doctors’ surgery, an optician, a dentist, and a pharmacy. There will also be a minor operating suite on-site, and there are plans for visiting consultants and specialists to hold surgeries at the health centre. The facility will be located on two acres of the former showground, next to Frome Community Hospital.
The planning application was approved last Wednesday by Mendip District Council. Dr Mark Vose, a partner at Frome Medical Practice said, “It’s taken us 10 years to get this far; it’s been a long and stony road but we’re there. We’re very very pleased.
“It’s come at a great time because this is a time of great change for the NHS. Now the next step is to get on and build!”
The architects’ plans will now be converted into detailed technical specifications, and then will be put out to developers. “It’s now a relatively straight forward but time consuming process,” added Dr Vose. It is hoped that the building of the £11million health centre will commence in March 2011, for completion in May 2012.

Travel plan

Concerns over the location of the new centre were raised after the plans were unveiled; in particular that the new centre will concentrate health provision in the north of Frome. To address these concerns, a travel plan was submitted with the planning application and the town council has set up a committee to work with bus companies.
Frome Medical Practice has around 30,000 patients, almost the entire population of Frome. The existing Park Road and Saffron surgeries will be closing to move to the new site, as will the Beckington Practice at Fromefield. Locks Hill surgery will remain at its present site.

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