Work starts on temporary GP surgery
A temporary doctor's surgery with 'excellent' facilities is being constructed in a Fenland village this week to serve patients who are currently being treated in a scout hut.
Workmen arrived at the site in Terrington St John, near King's Lynn, on Sunday and they will join together several mobile buildings to create a 250 square-foot surgery, opposite the village scout hut.
The temporary building is being built because the practice owners, Peterborough-based primary care group First Health, has not been able to agree a deal with outgoing company Dr W Karu and Partners.
This has meant that the village's health centre has not been in use since the end of October and the practice, which serves more than 5,000 patients across the Fens, has operated out of a scout hut.
There have been technical problems redirecting telephone lines and several complaints from people who have not been able to get through.
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Director of operations for First Health Fiona Reynolds said: 'We hope to have this temporary surgery up and running by December 3, but patients will be informed when that date is confirmed.
'Until then we will continue to operate from the scout hut, which is a very short-term measure.
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'The temporary practice being built will be excellent. It will have six clinical rooms, an enormous waiting area, disabled toilets, storage facilities, BT phone lines, a big reception and good electrical connection. We will also be able to extend the opening times.'
We reported last week that King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council is to consider making a compulsory purchase order of the village's health centre.
This would see the building valued independently and the owners would receive that price from the council, who would then sell it on to enable the surgery to operate there once more.
Mrs Reynolds said: 'We will await the outcome of this to see if a CPO is made and if that and all else fails we will look for an appropriate piece of land and build a new surgery.
She added: 'I hope the situation will be resolved quickly and I would like to thank the local people who have been so patient and supportive during this time.'
Current opening times are 9am to 5pm, with the last GP appointment at 4.30pm.
The surgery can be contacted by calling 01945 880471 or 01553 828884.