Construction work has begun on the new St Clements GP surgery in Winchester.
The multi-million-pound building is being constructed on the car park site on the corner of Friarsgate and Upper Brook Street, replacing the current St Clement surgery in Tanner Street.
A breaking-ground ceremony took place at the site last week to mark the start of building work. It was attended by MP Steve Brine; local actor, Tommy Jessop; and representatives from the practice, Winchester City Council, and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board (ICB).
Winchester City Council agreed to sell the site to a specialist in 2020 to enable the project to push ahead, with previous well-publicised efforts to deliver the scheme dating back over 15 years.
The surgery has around 17,000 registered patients and is currently based only a few hundred yards away from the new facility, so disruption to patients will be minimal.
Specialist primary healthcare developer and long-term landlord, Assura, will be delivering the new facility.
Jon Webb, development director at Assura, said: “We are delighted to be able play our part in taking this much-needed development forward and excited to finally now move on to the construction phase of the project.
“There’s been a huge group effort to get to this stage from all the local stakeholders, especially the practice, the NHS Integrated Care Board, and Winchester City Council.”
Our current building is no longer fit for purpose and the new development will really allow us to continue improving care for our patients and to deliver the service we want to for people in Winchester
Fay Johnson, practice manager, added: “This is a massive step forward and is great news for both the staff and patients at St Clements.
“Our current building is no longer fit for purpose and the new development will really allow us to continue improving care for our patients and to deliver the service we want to for people in Winchester.”
The development will feature state-of-the-art accommodation for staff and patients, including 15 consulting rooms, three treatment rooms, admin facilities, and larger reception and waiting areas.
The new building also includes an interactive health hub, space for Primary Care Network services, a chiropractor, and other ancillary health services.
Expansion space has also been built in for additional services to be delivered from the newbuild in the future.
As part of the relocation to a new facility, the NHS and Assura have co-commissioned a study by Wessex AHSN to assess the benefits the new facility will bring, with further research planned once the GPs have moved in and are seeing patients.
The new building has also been designed to be energy efficient with the ability to generate onsite energy through the installation of PV panels on the roof.