£3m health centre gets go-ahead

A NEW £3 million health centre for Portishead has been given the green light. North Somerset Primary Care Trust (PCT) has given the final go

A NEW £3 million health centre for Portishead has been given the green light.North Somerset Primary Care Trust (PCT) has given the final go ahead this week for the development which will provide a new home for the Harbourside Family Practice's six general practitioners and their staff.To complement the GP practice, the centre will provide 18 consulting rooms for the use of a wide range of health professionals including nurses, podiatrists and physiotherapists who will be able to treat patients early to stop chronic conditions getting worse. The centre, which will be built on the current Harbourside site, will also have a minor surgery suite, a treatment room and a gymnasium for up to 30 patients. It will also be home to the proposed new children's centre.The scheme is part of the Bristol Health Services Plan and the North Somerset Strategic Plan 'Shaping the Future' which shifts activity from the main hospitals into expanded community facilities at centres in Portishead and Clevedon Community Hospital.North Somerset Primary Care Trust chief executive Chris Born said: "We are really pleased this new centre can go ahead. "We aim to provide more and improved care closer to people's homes and respond to the growing population."This new development will give patients a better experience in new facilities, local access to a wider range of health services and fewer trips to hospital for outpatients appointments."Health professionals and community nursing teams will be able to work together to both reduce urgent hospital admissions and help people get out of hospital more quickly."Construction is due to start this summer with the new facilities opening to patients by summer 2008.Portishead is currently the second biggest town in North Somerset with a current population of 22,000. But by 2010 and with thousands of new homes planned in the town, the number is due to increase to nearly 30,000.

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