New GP project at the starting line

Social distancing underway as construction work begins on new primary care centre in Ware, Hertfordshire

Work has started on the construction of a new primary care centre in Ware

Work to create a new primary care centre in Hertfordshire is officially underway.

The extension and conversion of the former Meade House building in Ware to create new premises for the Dolphin House Surgery and The Maltings sites is beginning this month, with contractors working under current social distancing and safety guidelines for the construction industry.

The project will turn the former police, fire and Citizen’s Advice hub – which is only a five-minute walk from the existing surgery buildings – into a modern health hub with more space to serve the practice’s 14,000 patients, facilities for a broader range of services including a pharmacy and outpatient clinics, and capacity for seven-day working.

The facility has been carefully designed to fit with the character of the town centre.

Jill O'Brien, managing partner at Dolphin House Surgery, said: “In our current premises, we’re so short on space that we can’t provide the range of services we want to for our patients.

“We have big plans for the future and this new building will give us the modern space we need to grow our team and build capacity for local health services.

“Most importantly, the new building will be a much-more-pleasant place for patients to receive their care.”

The practice has worked with East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, East Hertfordshire District Council, Hertfordshire County Council and specialist primary care property company, Assura, on the plans, which will include 19 consulting rooms and treatment suites. The building will also offer pleasant waiting, interview and office space, dedicated training areas and an on-site pharmacy.

Sue Fogden, assistant director (premises) for East and North Herts and Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “The CCG attended a virtual pre-site meeting in April and is so pleased for patients and staff that this project is soon to become a reality after searching for suitable land for several years.”

David Sadler, senior development manager at Assura, added: “There have been incredible efforts all round to get the build underway and we really look forward to seeing the first patients using the centre.”

Contractor, Conamar, will deliver the build and the new centre is scheduled to open to patients next summer.

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