Pleas for new Wickford health centre to house three surgeries

Ukip councillors in Wickford, David Harrison and Peter Holliman

Ukip councillors in Wickford, David Harrison and Peter Holliman

First published in Echo News

CALLS have been made to move three doctors’ surgeries to a new health centre in Wickford.

Basildon Council’s previous Tory administration approved plans to move the town’s London Road surgery into a state-of-theart building where the market is located.

But the town’s Ukip councillors say two surgeries based at the current 1970s-built health centre – opposite the proposed new building in Market Road – should also be brought under the same roof.

They will take their proposals to Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS England at a meeting next month.

Tory Wickford councillors Carole Morris and Michael Mowe as well as Richard Moore, the councillor responsible for regeneration, are also going to the meeting.

David Harrison, Ukip councillor, said: “If it doesn’t happen now it never will.

“We have always said there is no point having a sparkling new building if you are just going to move one surgery from A to B.”

Mr Harrison said he will also push to extend the building currently proposed to incorporate the two extra surgeries – Applewood Surgery and Wickford Health Centre.

He also hopes that blood tests and minor services could also take place at the facility.

The Echo understands the NHS has a list of concerns about the London Road surgery, including inadequate fire alarms, outdated heating systems, inadequate waiting rooms, and a poor environment for patients and staff.

Mr Harrison said: “If the same applies to Wickford Health Centre, then they should really look into moving it – there is the potential for the building to be a real asset to the town.

“The Tories have previously proposed anything from a fullblooded health centre to a minihospital.”

There is just one doctor per 1,700 people in Wickford, but the new building would have space for 10 doctors if it is built to the current plans.

Basildon Council is putting £2million into the development and would then will lease it to the NHS.

Selling off the market site will generate £1million towards the project and it is due to be finished by August 2015, but if there are changes to the current plans it could delay the build.

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