MP for Weston-super-Mare John Penrose officially opened the new state-of-the-art surgery by cutting a ceremonial ribbon.
168 Medical Group and Winscombe and Banwell Family Practice, both part of the Pier Health Group of practices, will run health and care services at the new practice, which is called 168 Parklands Medical Centre and is located on Anson Road in the Parklands Village development.
Dr John Heather, GP and Executive Partner at 168 Medical Group, said:
“The opening ceremony was a great opportunity for us to celebrate the new building and thank everyone who has worked so hard bringing it together.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have this new facility. I’m sure our patients will love it.
“During the next few weeks we will start to have clinics at the new practice and we plan to be fully open at the beginning of January.”
Will Walker, a member of the practice’s Patient Participation Group, who attended the opening ceremony, was stationed at RAF Locking (1962-65 and 1980-85) where the new practice is built from.
“I was delighted to be asked to attend the opening of the new practice, especially having such a close link to Locking and the site of the new surgery. It’s such a wonderful addition to the town and I’m looking forward to coming here for some of my appointments.”
John Penrose, MP for Weston-super-Mare, added:
“Weston is a growing town, so it’s vital our local health services keep up. This new medical centre will help to cut waiting times by providing thousands more appointments for local families each year.”
The two-storey, 1,000 square metre facility will provide GP services for around 12,000 patients. In addition, Winscombe and Banwell Family Practice will use the surgery to support their patients in the local community.
David Jarrett, Chief Delivery Officer at NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB), which facilitated the build, said:
“Opening a new GP practice in North Somerset is such a fantastic achievement.
“Thousands of people in Weston use GP services every day so increasing GP and primary care provision in the town has been a high priority for the NHS locally.
“This modern, purpose-built facility will be a huge benefit to both patients and staff.”
The new fully accessible facility offers 12 consulting rooms, four treatment rooms, two separate waiting areas and high standard staff facilities. The building has been designed with sustainability in mind with solar panels on the roof, high quality insulation and underfloor heating throughout to keep heating costs to a minimum.
There are 61 parking spaces, including disabled parking, as well as car charging points that the practice hopes to make available for the local community to use.
The ICB has been working in partnership with North Somerset Council to ensure the practice meets the needs of the local population.
Part of the funding for the practice was secured from Section 106 contributions negotiated by North Somerset Council as part of the planning process for housing and employment development on sites around Parklands Village. The council also took on property negotiations and construction of the practice on behalf of the ICB.
Councillor Jenna Ho Marris, Executive Member for Homes and Health at North Somerset Council, added:
“An incredible amount of hard work has gone into the 168 Parklands Medical Practice, so it’s fantastic to join together with our partners and see these facilities now ready to open and serve our local area.
“These are top-quality facilities that will increase available GP appointments, which are crucial in supporting the growth of vibrant and healthy communities. I’d like to thank everyone who played a role in getting us to where we are today, helping realise our strategic vision for Parklands Village as a sustainable new community supported by the full range of facilities – I’m sure the medical practice will prove vital for the future of the area.”
Pictured left to right: Chief Executive of Pier Health Group Brandie Deignan, GP and Executive Manager at 168 Medical Group Dr John Heather, MP for Weston-super-Mare John Penrose, North Somerset Council Councillor Jenna Ho Marris, GP Practice Manager at 168 Parklands Medical Practice Casper Fons, and GP and Partner of Winscombe and Banwell Family Practice Dr John Jackson.