AMBITIOUS plans to create a new £2.1million “super surgery” in Clacton have been given the go-ahead.

The scheme will see the ground-floor NHS offices at Kennedy House, in Kennedy Way, refurbished and extended to accommodate two dated GP practices.

Epping Close Surgery and Frinton Road Medical Centre will move into the building, bringing with them a combined list of almost 9,000 patients.

The new centre will also allow staff from Anglian Community Enterprise to continue to provide a range of community health services, including a training facility to support people in managing long-term conditions, such as diabetes.

Tendring Council has approved plans to change the use of part of the ground floor of Kennedy House from office space to a doctors’ surgery.

As part of the plans, the front entrance lobby will be extended, with the addition of 18 covered bicycle spaces.

Joy Broderick, Colin Winfield and KT King, ward councillors for Holland-on-Sea, said Frinton Road Surgery had long been “unfit for purpose”, with doctors even resorting to writing their referrals at a kitchen table.

“We have been battling since 2002 to have a new building,” they said.

“Many doctors have left because of having to work in such dreadful conditions, such as hot desking, writing their referrals on the kitchen table and generally having to work in a very difficult environment.

“It was declared unfit for purpose and is not disabled compliant.”

The plans were first revealed in 2017 after the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) received a share of a £325million Government modernisation fund.

The two surgeries have a combined 9,000 patients, but the new “hub” could support up to 11,800 patients by 2021.

The councillors expect the work to move the surgeries will be completed by April 2020.

Ms Broderick hopes the investment will help to boost GP recruitment levels in Tendring.

She said: “Hopefully this will mean we will actually be able to make appointments without having to wait on the phone for half an hour or more, only to be told there are no appointments.

“The current situation at Frinton Road is totally unsuitable and if you weren’t ill when you started to ring the hub you certainly are by the time you’ve got through.”

“This planning application is music to our ears.

“New facilities with new equipment will hopefully encourage new doctors to come and stay here rather than the constant stream of locums we have at the moment.

“We are certain the new council will do all it can to provide housing for key workers which should help encourage medical staff to relocate to work and live at the seaside.”

A spokeswoman for the CCG said NHS England will make a final decision on the plans in June.

Construction work could commence in late summer, with an aim to move the two surgeries in Spring 2020.

She said: “The investment will provide a brand new primary care centre with excellent facilities for patients and staff.

“The new service will benefit from having clinicians under the same roof with great opportunities for mentorship and the sharing of good practice.

"It will also free up space to increase renal dialysis capacity in the adjoining building.

“Patients and staff will also benefit from much improved car parking facilities.”