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Newmarket hospital plans welcomed by town councillors

Newmarket Hospital (6151740)
Newmarket Hospital (6151740)

Plans for a new extension at Newmarket hospital to house a relocated GP practice, have been welcomed by town councillors.

The proposals for the £1.3million extension to accommodate Newmarket’s Oakfield Surgery at the hospital are expected to decided by Forest Heath District Council in January but at a meeting ofthe town council’s development and planning committee members gave their approval. “This seems a really good idea,” said town mayor Cllr Rachel Hood.

If approved, work on the new extension is expected to start next summer with an estimated completion date of January 2020.

Oakfield Surgery’s current Vicarage Road site,is set to be developed with ten new homes after planning permission was approved earlier this year.

The relocation of the GP practice, which caters for more than 7,000 patients, is seen as the first step in developing the Exning Road hospital as a wellbeing hub for people of thetown and its surrounding villages.

And, according to Suffolk NHS, early discussions have already taken place with existing health providers at the hospital alongside other partners including West Suffolk Hospital, Suffolk Primary Care and West Suffolk Council about how it will be developed in the future.

Paul Cross, portfolio optimisation manager at NHS Property Services, said the proposed new extension would be ‘a significant first step in developing additional primary care facilities to complement the services already provided by the hospital’.

And Newmarket’s MP, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, called the move a ‘ vote of confidence for our brilliant community hospital’ and awelcome move for healthcare in the town.