New name for health centre revealed
06:00 26 August 2014
SIDMOUTH’S under-construction new doctors’ surgery will be finished by summer 2015 – and will be named the Beacon Medical Centre.
Practice partners who visited the site this week say they aspire to make the state-of-the-art surgery a ‘beacon of excellence for years to come’.
The hub off Stowford Rise will boast nine GP consulting rooms, six nurse treatment rooms, two patient waiting room areas, a small operating theatre for minor operations, and a facility for a pharmacy.
There will also be plenty of patient parking available, including disabled spaces and a cycle rack.
It is also proposed that some site landscaping will be introduced by planting trees.
The new practice will operate in addition to the existing Sidmouth Health Centre in Blackmore Drive, enabling patients to be seen at either practice, with Sidford Surgery projected for eventual closure.
Dr Nicholas Read said: “The name was chosen by the partners for several reasons. It is situated at the foot of Fire Beacon Hill, it is in an elevated position in the valley, like a beacon, but most importantly, we aim for it to be a beacon of medical excellence.”
Serious negotiations with the NHS started in 2013 and, after battling through ‘layers of bureaucracy and approval’, the project was signed off earlier this year.
The partners had previously enlisted the support of MP Hugo Swire, town and county councillors, the NHS, and their bankers and solicitor.
Plans for the new health centre are on display at the Blackmore Drive surgery.
The partners say the building is designed to satisfy the needs of the doctors and nurses over the coming decades.
Rather than try and adapt the building on the land in Sedemuda Close, formerly Stowford Lodge, it was decided to demolish the existing building and start afresh.