An old health centre is set to have a £1.7million overhaul and will provide much improved start-of-the-art health facilities for the people of Haltwhistle.
The refurbishment of Haltwhistle Health Centre will modernise the building and includes new clinical areas to provide modern healthcare services for the local community.
GPs at Haltwhistle Surgery, based at the centre on Greencroft Avenue, are working closely with NHS North of Tyne, who is making the investment. If planning permission is approved, the practice will move into temporary accommodation near the site for six months while the work is carried out.
Dr Derek Thomson, a senior partner at Haltwhistle Medical Group, said: “We are very pleased that the local NHS is looking to invest in the health centre.
“I’m sure all our patients agree that this refurbishment is long overdue and we’re very pleased indeed with this investment. I hope patients don’t mind a little inconvenience when we move to temporary accommodation in September for six months as it will be worth it in the end for a great, almost new building.
“We would like to reassure our 5,800 patients that their care will not be affected in any way and both patients and staff will benefit from the modernised and updated facilities.”
Dr David Shovlin, west locality lead for NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), who in the future will be responsible for the planning and purchasing of healthcare and health services, welcomed the plans for the refurbishment.
He added: “Refurbishing the health centre will mean an improved treatment environment for local patients and a better working environment for the staff based at the centre. This investment will mean that the building will serve the local community for the next 25 years.”
NHS Northumberland CCG is working closely with NHS North of Tyne, the current commissioners of NHS services in the county, to start taking on new responsibilities.
The CCG represents all 46 GP practices across the county and covers a population of around 330,000. To ensure a local focus it has four localities – North, West, Blyth Valley and Central.
NHS North of Tyne is working closely with the GP practice and other NHS providers who currently use the centre including Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
The extensive refurbishment will take around six months and the services currently on the site will have to move into temporary accommodation near to the building. It is expected that this will be from September 2012 onwards with a new refurbished centre opening from spring 2013, subject to planning permission being granted.