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Gloucestershire Business News

Just what the patients ordered?

A future-proof plan for two GP surgeries in the Forest of Dean to come under one roof in a £7.5m health centre is moving ahead – and could be operational in 18 months' time, say NHS bosses.

Lydney Health Centre and Severnbank Surgery intend to redevelop the former Co-Op on Lydney's Newerne Street and refashion the site to deliver a primary health care centre.

The complex will see the practices remain wholly separate in dedicated areas of the building with their own self-contained clinical and administration spaces, while some common areas would be shared. It aims to cater for not only an existing GP book of 15,000 patients but also anticipates an additional 4,000 registrations in coming years.

NHS Gloucestershire's Primary Care and Direct Commissioning Committee says the plans are now activated after a decision on funding approval was made last month. Subject to full planning approval from FoDDC, both practices could be working in their new setting from spring 2026.

Dr Tristan Lench, GP Partner at SevernBank Surgery, said: "We are restricted by lack of space in our current premises, and the age, size and shape of the buildings mean that further improvements are no longer viable."

Co-locating into a single site would help the surgery to work flexibly and efficiently, he added, using the additional space to provide new services and clinics and offer training opportunities to staff.

He said: "In 2022, we carried out a survey with our patients to understand what is important to them. The results indicated that our patients value an accessible location, the ability to park, access to district nurses and receptionists and use of modern technology and digital healthcare.

These new premises would enable us to meet these expectations."

Final planning specification will see a total reconfiguration and refurb "to environmentally friendly specifications," the NHS says, with expansion space for a further 4,000 patients to meet anticipated future demand.

The site will offer 20 consultation rooms, a pharmacy and a wellbeing activity space for local community groups to use, and would be accessible by bus, foot and bike. Car parking will cater for 60 visitors.

The project is being undertaken by Altrincham-based Assura PLC, who specialise in building NHS infrastructure.

Ashley Seymour, Assura Development Director, told "It will be a fantastic asset that is fit for the future of Primary Care and deliver much needed services to the community in Lydney."

Helen Goodey, Director of Primary Care and Place at NHS Gloucestershire, added: "Modernising primary care facilities in Lydney is a priority, particularly given the anticipated growth in the number of patients over the next 10 years. We have been working closely with stakeholders and partners to find a way to deliver a viable, high-quality and value-for-money scheme."

She added that the new premises would offer patients and staff a more pleasant experience, with family friendly facilities and waiting areas, improved security and areas for confidential conversations, as well as improved infection control arrangements."

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