Bury St Edmunds GP surgery could move from town centre to 'public service village' in Western Way
A Bury St Edmunds GP surgery could move to a multi-million pound ‘public service village’ in the town.
The unnamed surgery would relocate from the town centre to the facility, in Western Way, which aims to bring public, health and community services together on one site.
Cllr Paul Hopfensperger said the plans were 'confirmed' to him by NHS representatives during a meeting of Suffolk County Council’s health scrutiny committee last Wednesday.
Cllr Hopfensperger, who is St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s representative on the committee, said it was ‘fantastic news’ for the west side of Bury including the Howard estate, which has long called for its own surgery.
He added that a medical facility room will be included in the estate’s new community centre to be built on the former site of Howard Primary School in St Olaves Road with work due to start next year.
The borough is leading the public service village plans with councillors due to discuss an outline business case on October 30.
A revised masterplan for the Western Way area was approved in 2016 and included ambitions for a 1,800 space multi-storey car park and accommodation for West Suffolk College students.
Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is considering moving mental health and wellbeing services from two sites in Hospital Road to the Western Way development in 2023.
Amanda Lyes, chief corporate services officer for NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The CCG is one of a number of partners working on the development of a public service village, which we believe will deliver positive benefits to the community.
“The plans are still at a very early stage and could include a GP practice opening on the site.”
A council spokesman said: “We’re delighted to hear another of our health partners being enthusiastic about being part of the Western Way development which has been an ambition for local public services to work together in a new way to increase benefits for our communities.
“The outline business case is still being worked on and will be made public later this month to be discussed by councillors who will look at whether more detailed plans should be drawn up before any final decisions are made.
“Therefore, at this stage we cannot confirm numbers but clearly if it goes ahead it will be a multi-million pound investment in bringing new jobs, leisure, health, education and other public services together in one place, with multiple funding partners.
“It will make it easier for people to access services which in turn will be more effective and greater than the sum of their parts.
“There is a very long way to go on this project but, if councillors support the outline business case going forward for more detailed work, this could be a national leading project and a real investment in the communities of West Suffolk by the whole of the public sector.”