Super surgery for 20,000 patients gets go-ahead
A SUPER surgery for 20,000 doctors' patients has been given the go-ahead to be built.
London Road, Barnwood and Heathville medical practices have all been branded 'dilapidated'.
They will be closed down to make way for a new primary care centre and pharmacy at Horton Road.
Gloucester city councillors approved the radical vision at their planning meeting on Tuesday.
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Councillor Paul Toleman (C, Westgate) said: "This is a no brainer for me. It's just what the doctor ordered."
Bulldozers will move in to demolish 'ugly' Ermin House, a former NHS building and social centre.
Dr Bob Hodges, from Barnwood Medical Practice, said: "This has been 10 years in the making and now the timing is critical.
"All three practices are in dilapidated buildings that were never designed to be modern day surgeries.
"Our practice for example used to be old Dr Watson's house many years ago.
"Without the new building we would not be able to continue and we would have to dissolve our practices."
The three practices are struggling to meet new disability access requirements.
The new building will boast modern, light and airy facilities spread over 4,060 sq metres. There will also be 157 car parking spaces and bicycle points.
Two new bus stops will be installed nearby to make getting to the centre a little easier.
The nearest bus serving the area is the number six route, which is subsidised by Gloucestershire County Council.
City councillors hope the new surgery will not only encourage the county council to keep the subsidy going but also that it might make the route more commercially viable.
Councillor Jeremy Hilton, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: "I'm a patient at London Road and it is not suitable for a modern day surgery.
"The steps are difficult for people to navigate.
"When my father was at the end of his life he found it very difficult to get into the doctors surgery.
"The proposal will be a great advantage for these 20,000 people."
He added that his only concern was that it would mean extra travelling time for some patients coming from areas such as Kingsholm.