NEW MEDICAL CENTRE IN RACKHEATH – AN UPDATE
After years of planning, we are close to realising the prospect of a new medical centre in Rackheath. The Centre will be a Primary Care Health Hub and host GP and other primary care services such as community district nursing team, physiotherapy and mental health support services. The Hoveton & Wroxham Medical Centre Practice Manager, Chris Stace, and an NHS Estates lead representative (Paul Higham) provided with locals with a presentation at The Pavilion in Rackheath on 14 June 2022. We will repeat this presentation once the final approvals have been granted mid-next year. The purpose of this note is to provide residents in the area with the latest news on the project.
The Approvals Process.
The Department of Health and Social Care gave conditional ‘programme approval’ in September. This has allowed the final and full business case for the new medical centre to proceed. There remains some small risk to the project as the financial limits are fixed and inflation is having an effect. NHS Property Services are managing the project and Darwin Group are the chosen builders. Detailed building design will start in the new year and council building planning activity is running in parallel.
The fixed target of having the Centre operational in mid-2024 means that modern methods of construction (MMC) will be used. Much of the building will be constructed off-site and then assembled on-site, which is on Broad Lane to the west of the now closed rail crossing. MMC will allow for an attractive exterior design and good environment for both patients and staff.
Most will be aware of the staffing crisis in the NHS, but it is anticipated that the good reputation of Hoveton & Wroxham Medical Centre will allow timely recruitment to ensure a good quality service is available for patients from day one and expands at the pace of the growing demand, with the building have a long-term capacity of 10,000.
The Patients – Registration.
The location of the new Centre is within the boundaries of several current GP practices in North Norfolk and East Norwich. A carefully timed and managed process of practice boundary changes will take place to ensure that the Centre can be used for the convenience of patients in the area. For example, Hoveton & Wroxham Medical Centre patients ‘south of the Wroxham bridge’ in Rackheath and Salhouse, and those in villages and new houses around the NDR (A1270, Broadland Northway).
THE NHS Integrated Care Board (ICB) for Norfolk & Waveney (the old CCG) will own the new building and operational management will be delegated to Hoveton & Wroxham Medical Centre for effective and efficient use of the Centre as patient numbers grow over the coming years, which is linked to well-known house building plans for the area.
General Practice is seeing an ever-increasing range of specialist clinicians to meet patient needs: GPs, trainee GPs, various nursing specialities, pharmacists & pharmacy technicians, physios, mental health councillors and more. We anticipate these specialists to be available to meet the needs of both registered patients and those patients registered in neighbouring practice areas. Norfolk Community Health and Care district nurse and associated clinics will operate from the new Centre, and we envisage some NNUH and other health care clinics being run for the convenience of patients. This does not include additional dentistry services for the time being.
Let’s Keep Talking.
Tony Emes is a member of the Hoveton & Wroxham Medical Centre Patient Participation Group (PPG) and our patient representative on the Project’s Engagement Group. He is working very hard to keep abreast of development on this now fast-moving project. In due course we will engage with him and patients to influence aspects of the building detailed design and future operations. His contact details are: email@example.com.