Reaction to the investment

Receptionists Maria Bryson and Susan White at Broomhill Health Centre's temporary base.
Receptionists Maria Bryson and Susan White at Broomhill Health Centre's temporary base.

An out-dated health centre is undergoing a £1.65million overhaul which will provide much improved state-of-the-art facilities for patients.

The refurbishment of Broomhill Health Centre will modernise the building and includes new clinical areas to provide modern healthcare services for the local community.

GPs at the surgery, which is based at the centre on Hadston Road, South Broomhill, are working closely with NHS North of Tyne, which is making the investment.

The extensive refurbishment will take around six months and it is expected that the new refurbished centre will open from spring 2013.

The centre is currently closed for work to take place, and temporary accommodation is in place nearby.

Dr Gareth Watkins, a senior partner at Coquet Medical Group, said: “The doctors at the surgery, which is part of Coquet Medical Group, are pleased to have been offered a major upgrade to the premises at a time when financial pressures might have threatened the long-held principle of providing the highest-quality health centre premises and care to the local population.

“The temporary accommodation seems to be working well and we hope that he patients won’t mind the temporary inconvenience.

“We will try our best to continue to provide a normal service to the 3,500 patients of Broomhill and Hadston that are affected.”

Dr Eileen Higgins, central locality lead for NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group, who in the future will be responsible for the planning and purchasing of healthcare and health services, welcomed the refurbishment.

She said: “Refurbishing the health centre will mean an improved treatment environment for local patients and the working environment for the staff based at the centre.

“This investment will mean that the building will serve the local community for the next 25 years.”

NHS North of Tyne is working closely with the GP practice and other NHS providers who currently use the centre including Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.