Work on new health centre set to begin

WORK on building a new health centre in the heart of Hadleigh's conservation area is expected to start next Monday .The centre, next to the River Brett and Toppesfield Hall, headquarters of the East of England Tourist Board, will be double the size of the former doctors' surgery.

WORK on building a new health centre in the heart of Hadleigh's conservation area is expected to start next Monday .

The centre, next to the River Brett and Toppesfield Hall, headquarters of the East of England Tourist Board, will be double the size of the former doctors' surgery.

It will have 11 consulting rooms, a minor surgery suite, training rooms and a multi-purpose rehabilitation and outpatient therapy suite with gym equipment for patients recovering after serious illnesses.

A conference room on the top floor will be available for the use of local community groups.

The practice currently has nine GPs, five of them full time, and looks after 14,000 people in Hadleigh and surrounding villages.

Building work will be carried out by Lindum Construction, which also supervised the installation by crane of a number of temporary buildings for patients and doctors to use until the new centre is opened, expected to be in November 2003.

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Peter Larner, the health centre practice manager, said it was hoped to run more outreach clinics staffed by clinicians from Ipswich hospital, including sound proofed and darkened rooms for hearing and eye specialists to run clinics.

So sensitive is the new building's setting that special arrangements to protect the surrounding wildlife have been made, including protecting the snowdrops that grow on the site and ensuring the branches of trees are not damaged during building work.

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