Green light for health centre

PLANS to build a new multi-million pound health centre in Shefford were formally given the go-ahead today, after the NHS Bedfordshire trust board met to discuss the proposals. The decision to support the plans was made at the trust board meeting which was

PLANS to build a new multi-million pound health centre in Shefford were formally given the go-ahead today, after the NHS Bedfordshire trust board met to discuss the proposals.

The decision to support the plans was made at the trust board meeting which was held in public at the Shefford Methodist Church. It follows a three-month public consultation, which closed on January 25, when local residents had the opportunity to have their say and ask questions at two public meetings.

A report outlining responses from the consultation was presented at the meeting and was considered by the board when making their decision on whether to support the proposals.

NHS Bedfordshire received over 2,200 responses from local residents and partner organisations, with 86.4 per cent in favour of the development, 5.5 per cent suggesting no change to the current GP surgery location and 3.7 per cent making alternative suggestions.


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Andrew Morgan, chief executive of NHS Bedfordshire commented: "Strong public support for these plans has been evident throughout the consultation process and the trust board took this into account when making its decision in favour of these plans.

"I am sure this news will be met with delight by local residents who are now a step closer to having a purpose-built health centre, which will provide them with a wider range of local health services in state-of-the-art surroundings."

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The GP practice at Shefford Health Centre will now progress plans to start building the new centre, which could be seeing its first patients before the end of 2010.

Dr Stephen Cakebread, who is the senior partner at the practice, said: "I am delighted that both the public and NHS Bedfordshire have so strongly supported our plans. It will provide much needed extra capacity to see more patients as the population grows and have the space to provide a wider range of services, including some that are only currently available in hospital."

Members of the public can read all the NHS Bedfordshire board papers, including the report on the Shefford public consultation by visiting http://www.bedfordshirepct.nhs.uk/about_us/board_papers.php

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