PATIENTS pushing for the relocation of a doctors’ surgery which would “benefit the whole community” are growing frustrated with how long it is taking.

Last year the Gazette was told the East Lynne Medical Centre could potentially move into the Tendring Centre, which is run by St Helena Hospice.

It came after the charity submitted plans to sell-off the Clacton building, in Jackson Road, and sought permission so 40 flats and 27 parking spaces could be built.

Ground-floor space was also set aside within the scheme for a possible restaurant, shop, or pub, which could have been occupied by a national company.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Bosses said the reason for the proposed sell was because the site was no longer financially viable and claimed it had been seriously under-used for a long time.

Following suggestions the East Lynne Medical Centre could relocate to the premises patients have been eager to see it happen.

Penelope Read, 72, has been on the surgery’s books for 28 years and is now the chairman of its Patient Participation Group.

She said: “The current premises is too small, there are not enough rooms, only one lavatory, very poor wheelchair access and no parking for patients.

“The staircase is steep and narrow, and the surgery is only intended for 4,500 patients, but currently there is 8,500 listed.

“So, the patients are totally supportive of this relocation, as most Clacton people will be too – the whole community would benefit.”

The Gazette understands the building, which was funded using more than £200,000 from the community, would still be owned by St Helena Hospice.

If the proposals are imagined, however, it would be leased to the East Lynne Medical and patients would enjoy everything a larger, more equipped facility can offer.

The North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group is said to be working with the surgery to facilitate the move, but patients want

“Why is the CCG taking so long to approve this?,” added Penelope. “I think they may want us to share it with another practice, which would not work.

“It is extremely frustrating because we need the move pronto.”

Mark Jarman-Howe, chief executive of St Helena Hospice, said the charity has several parties interested in the building.

He added: “We are keeping our options open regarding the Tendring Centre and can confirm we are in discussion with interested parties.

"These discussions are in the early stages and therefore we cannot comment further at the moment.

"For now the building is still in use as a vaccination centre, run by the CCG.”

A spokesman for NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “There are no current plans for the relocation of the East Lynne Medical Centre, despite an earlier initial plan for a move to the St Helena Hospice in Clacton, which did not proceed to the next stage of the business case process.

“We are aware of East Lynne Medical Centre’s desire to explore other options and the CCG remains engaged by supporting it and other local practices with their planning intentions, and to ensure the best possible health care provision for local people.”