MP officially starts work on Fakenham's �5m healthcare campus
Adam LazzariOne Norfolk MP took the task of getting involved with the grass roots of local issues - quite literally - this week.Keith Simpson, MP for Broadland, jumped into a JCB digger to carry out some ground breaking, and officially start work on building Fakenham's new �5 million community healthcare campus on Monday.Adam Lazzari
One Norfolk MP took the task of getting involved with the grass roots of local issues - quite literally - this week.
Keith Simpson, MP for Broadland, jumped into a JCB digger to carry out some ground breaking, and officially start work on building Fakenham's new �5 million community healthcare campus on Monday.
The facility, on land between Clipbush Lane and Thorpland Road, close to Morrison's supermarket, will integrate vital services for Fakenham's growing population, and replace the town's existing practice on Greenway Lane.
It has been in the pipeline for more than five years and at one point was to be abandoned - but is now expected to be completed in just 14 months.
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Mr Simpson said: 'There is an important and symbolic reason for me being here today and that is to celebrate what I hope will be a very good medical complex offering a lot of services to the people of Fakenham and the surrounding villages. It is ideally situated, with lots of parking space.'
The Y-shaped building, which is to serve 4,900 people, will feature a day surgery and enable GPs and nurses to work in the same building as adult social services and community health visitors.
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There are also to be 13 GP consulting rooms, including two training rooms, preparation and recovery rooms, dispensary, pharmacy and an out-of-hours clinic.
Mr Simpson said: 'This is the future of community medical care and the days when Norfolk and Norwich Hospital could cope with everything are long gone. I hope the next time I come back here will be for the official opening.'
The project was initially approved by the former North Norfolk Primary Care Trust in September 2005 but was delayed due to PCT deficits and the restructuring of the PCT system.
It was then scrapped entirely in 2007, but reinstated the following year.
John Fraser, chief executive of Fakenham Medical Practice, said: 'People will be able to get a whole raft of operations in Fakenham that they would have previously had to travel to King's Lynn or Norwich for, and with GPs and nurses working in the same building as adult social services and community health visitors, people will be provided with much better co-ordinated community care.'
Work is due to be fully under way by the middle of next month.
This healthcare complex is the first part of a major expansion of this area of Fakenham to be carried out over the next 15 years.
This will see 800 homes, a gym, nursery and offices built.