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New surgery for Felixstowe

PUBLISHED: 07:59 24 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:02 03 March 2010

FELIXSTOWE residents can look forward to a better standard of health care today with the opening of a state-of-the-art doctors' surgery.

The new red brick building, in Orwell Road, promises to offer a more modern service to existing patients and is looking to welcome some new ones.

FELIXSTOWE residents can look forward to a better standard of health care today with the opening of a state-of-the-art doctors' surgery.

The new red brick building, in Orwell Road, promises to offer a more modern service to existing patients and is looking to welcome some new ones.

Doctors Fiona Rowe, Robert James, Maarten de Cleen, Robert Minham and Tatiana Leichenko were looking forward to working in their new building and took great pride in showing it off.

A small bungalow on the large plot of land was knocked down in August to make way for the new development that cost around £1 million. Although the roof was finished in February and the building looked complete, refinement of the interior continued up until last week.

The building opened at noon on Saturday by former GPs of the practice, John Bennett, Irvine Reid and Alan Wimhurst who are now all retired. More than 50 people attended to have a look round and the large car park at the rear was full of cars.

The practice had been at Howard House, in Leopold Road, just around the corner since 1974, but the staff had outgrown it and medical practises had moved on.

Dr Robert James said: "The old building was only designed to cope with about 3,000 patients. Currently we have around 6,500. Seven doctors can now work from the new building but we only have half that at the moment as some of them are part-time. There is room for expansion but the current national shortage of doctors may pose a problem."

The building has been designed to make expansion possible as further consultation rooms can be added if required.

Extra rooms allow the doctors to run more specific health clinics for health promotion and disease management. They have gone from five surgeries to twelve, four nurses now have much bigger rooms and upstairs there are spacious offices, a conference room, and a library.

Dr James added: "It has been our aim to make our practice the best in the town and we were beginning to get hampered by Howard House. And given the number of people clambering to register I think that says we are a good practice."

Dr Fiona Rowe said: "Progress and growth is the way forward. We are excited about the future and hope to give a high quality service to our patients.

"The extra space and the light airy feel of the new building lifts everyone's mood so we may maintain our sanity which might not have happened had we stayed in Leopold Road."

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