HEALTH bosses have announced work will start on Clacton’s long-awaited £1.5million ‘super surgery’ this Easter.

The scheme will involve the refurbishment of NHS offices at Kennedy House, in Kennedy Way, and will see two dated GP practices - Clacton’s Epping Close Surgery and Holland-on-Sea’s Frinton Road Medical Centre - move into the building.

The surgeries currently have a total of almost 9,000 patients, but the new ‘hub’ could support up to 11,800 patients by 2021.

It will house four GPs, as well as registrars, and will have seven consulting rooms, four treatment rooms, a dedicated phlebotomy area and interview rooms, which can be used for mental health support workers, and a large group room.

The NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group said funding for the scheme has now been rubbed-stamped by the Government and work will be completed by the autumn.

Dr Ed Garratt, chief executive of the CCG, said: “This is fantastic news for people in east Clacton and brings to an end years of uncertainty around the future of GP services in the area.

“I am especially excited by this redevelopment as it brings a range of exciting opportunities in providing services in the future.

“For instance, A big part of our plans involve introducing new technologies, such as digital points within Kennedy House.

“We have also designed a space for patient training – to learn with clinicians how to manage health-related conditions they may have more effectively.”

Once the work has finished, Clacton’s Ranworth Surgery will provide services at the site.

The CCG recently appointed Ranworth to take over services on a 12-month caretaker basis at four practices in Tendring after concerns were raised about previous provider Anglian Community Enterprise (ACE).

Rita Garnett, chairman of the Frinton Road Patient Participation Group, said: “This is great news for our local patients and I am delighted the new leadership teams at the CCG and Ranworth have been working so hard to get the scheme to this stage.

“The surgery at Frinton Road is no longer fit for purpose as the building is a converted house and in need of full refurbishment.

“The building is not big enough. There are not enough consultation rooms and those that we do have are inadequate.

“We have been calling for some time for improved facilities and we believe this redevelopment will go a long way to address this issue.”

Clacton MP Giles Watling, who previously called on watchdogs to take action against ACE, said: “This is truly welcome news and will further improve services for local residents.

“I will continue to work with the CCG to ensure the transition from the two local practices to Kennedy House is seamless.”

Jane Taylor, the CCG’s senior estates development manager, said adapting Kennedy House will “make the best use of an existing NHS building”.

“We have worked extensively with local clinicians to design the ground floor space and are continuing to engage with local people to ensure the cosmetic internal appearance of the building is dementia-friendly,” she said.

Paul Cross, regional partnership director for NHS Property Services, added: “The decision to commence with the redevelopment of Kennedy House demonstrates what can be achieved when partners in the NHS work positively and proactively together with local health providers on behalf of patients.

"Working with the CCG, we have identified an opportunity to maximise the utilisation of the NHS estate.

“This means patients can expect redeveloped and expanded modern health facilities in a location familiar to them.”

“We look forward to welcoming the two general practices, staff and patients to ‘new’ Kennedy House in autumn 2020.”