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New Woolpit car park helps health centre's Covid-19 and flu vaccine programme



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A new car park in Woolpit, which opened on Friday, is already helping the Covid-19 booster vaccination programme at the village health centre.

The 120-space car park, which is for the use of Woolpit Health Centre and the community, was officially opened by Mid Suffolk district councillors and NHS representatives.

Work on the project started in August, after land was transferred from David Wilson Homes, which is building homes in the village, to the district council.

Lois Wreathall Deputy Director of Primary Care at West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group joins Mid Suffolk chairman Cllr Paul Ekpenyong and Dr Richard West senior partner of Woolpit Health Centre to officially open the car park, along with Mid Suffolk ward members Cllr Sarah Mansel and Cllr Helen Geake, Suffolk County Council ward member Cllr Andy Mellen, Julia Ewans chair of Woolpit Parish Council, John Guyler Woolpit Parish Council Councillor, and Breheny Civil Engineering staff who worked on the project. Photo Credit: Gregg Brown and Mid Suffolk District Council (52912594)
Lois Wreathall Deputy Director of Primary Care at West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group joins Mid Suffolk chairman Cllr Paul Ekpenyong and Dr Richard West senior partner of Woolpit Health Centre to officially open the car park, along with Mid Suffolk ward members Cllr Sarah Mansel and Cllr Helen Geake, Suffolk County Council ward member Cllr Andy Mellen, Julia Ewans chair of Woolpit Parish Council, John Guyler Woolpit Parish Council Councillor, and Breheny Civil Engineering staff who worked on the project. Photo Credit: Gregg Brown and Mid Suffolk District Council (52912594)

Proposals for the community car park were accelerated in response to demand for parking while Woolpit Health Centre administers Covid-19 and flu vaccines.

The new car park opened in time for a surge in Covid-19 booster vaccinations at the surgery – it is thought around 1,500 vaccines were administered on Saturday alone.

Previously, Woolpit Medical Centre had 66 car parking spaces, 30 of which were reserved for staff, leaving 36 for patients (including three disabled spaces).

The new car park will provide 120 new parking spaces and will open from tomorrow to initially help accommodate the administration of 1,500 Covid vaccinations at Woopit Health Centre – three times the amount the surgery currently administers. Photo Credit: Gregg Brown and Mid Suffolk District Council (52912588)
The new car park will provide 120 new parking spaces and will open from tomorrow to initially help accommodate the administration of 1,500 Covid vaccinations at Woopit Health Centre – three times the amount the surgery currently administers. Photo Credit: Gregg Brown and Mid Suffolk District Council (52912588)

Additional community uses for the land are being explored.

Cllr Sarah Mansel, ward member for Woolpit, said: “Parking at Woolpit Health Centre has been an issue for several years. This new car park will be a welcome asset.

"It has been great that all the relevant organisations have been able to work together to bring the project forward.”

Cllr Paul Ekpenyong, Mid Suffolk District Council chairman, said: “I am delighted that we’ve been able to deliver this much-needed car park for Woolpit, once again demonstrating the importance of community infrastructure levy in providing facilities needed to make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of our communities for many years to come.

Lois Wreathall Deputy Director of Primary Care at West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group joins Mid Suffolk chairman Cllr Paul Ekpenyong and Dr Richard West senior partner of Woolpit Health Centre to officially open the car park, along with Mid Suffolk ward members Cllr Sarah Mansel and Cllr Helen Geake, Suffolk County Council ward member Cllr Andy Mellen, Julia Ewans chair of Woolpit Parish Council, John Guyler Woolpit Parish Council Councillor, and Breheny Civil Engineering staff who worked on the project. Photo: Gregg Brown and Mid Suffolk District Council (52912591)
Lois Wreathall Deputy Director of Primary Care at West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group joins Mid Suffolk chairman Cllr Paul Ekpenyong and Dr Richard West senior partner of Woolpit Health Centre to officially open the car park, along with Mid Suffolk ward members Cllr Sarah Mansel and Cllr Helen Geake, Suffolk County Council ward member Cllr Andy Mellen, Julia Ewans chair of Woolpit Parish Council, John Guyler Woolpit Parish Council Councillor, and Breheny Civil Engineering staff who worked on the project. Photo: Gregg Brown and Mid Suffolk District Council (52912591)

“Having it ready to be used for vital covid vaccinations is a testament to the hard work of our council, the CCG, Suffolk County Council and Woolpit Parish Council on this collaborative project. I’d like to thank all those involved.”

Dr Ed Garratt, chief officer of NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Woolpit Health Centre stands out as an incredible example of a community-focused primary care facility which does so much to look after the health and wellbeing of local people.

“The opening is the result of true partnership work and highlights how working together can really deliver positive results.”

The car park also includes a dedicated bicycle rack – supporting Mid Suffolk District Council’s ambition to promote sustainable transport options to residents as part of its ongoing commitment to addressing climate change. Photo Credit: Gregg Brown and Mid Suffolk District Council (52912586)
The car park also includes a dedicated bicycle rack – supporting Mid Suffolk District Council’s ambition to promote sustainable transport options to residents as part of its ongoing commitment to addressing climate change. Photo Credit: Gregg Brown and Mid Suffolk District Council (52912586)

Entrance to the new car park is from the health centre’s existing facility until an access road is ready in January.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) – collected from housing developers – was used to fund the project following approval from Mid Suffolk’s cabinet in June.

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