Sax to have new surgery 'within a year'

DOCTORS in Saxmundham are keen to reassure residents that plans for a £3 million one-stop medical centre in the town are still "very much underway."Dr John Havard, one of the partner's at Saxmundham's existing Lambsale Meadow surgery, said: "Because things have gone quiet since we received the outline planning permission people think that it's not going to happen.

DOCTORS in Saxmundham are keen to reassure residents that plans for a £3 million one-stop medical centre in the town are still "very much underway."

Dr John Havard, one of the partner's at Saxmundham's existing Lambsale Meadow surgery, said: "Because things have gone quiet since we received the outline planning permission people think that it's not going to happen.

"We are aware that we need to hurry up, but we have spent the time preparing detailed information about what people want to see, and things are going to start happening very soon."

Dr Havard is meeting with planners later this week and hopes to be able to submit a detailed planning application in September.

He is optimistic that, once permission is granted, work will begin very quickly: "I see no reason why we can't get it all up and running within a year. It's a big task but if we can get enough hands on the job I'm confident it can be done."

The proposed new surgery will be situated on land next to the sports ground on South Entrance, and will be unique in the range of services it aims to provide.

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Plans for the new surgery include a gym, creche and café, as well as an ambulance station. It is also hoped to provide a range of medical services such as a dentist, optician, complementary therapies and counselling all under one roof.

Dr Havard said: "I'm not aware of anywhere in the country with a centre quite like it. It will certainly be one of only a handful of similar surgeries.

"It's very much about the range and quality of services we can deliver rather than the number of square feet we have available. We want to provide a centre where patients feel relaxed and comfortable."

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