Sidmouth Health centre origins

Further to recent correspondence in the Sidmouth Herald concerning the Sidmouth Health Centre, I write to explain the origin of the Health Centre.

In 1964, the three General Practices in the town united to form a single Practice: Drs Gibbens, St. Cin, Fison, Michelmore, Hall and Atkinson. In 1965, when the house on the site of the present Health Centre and Library came on the market, the Doctors felt this site had to be purchased, being adjacent to Sidmouth Hospital and ideally positioned for a new surgery premises. The site was purchased by the Executive Council and an excellent plan of a new surgery premises produced. The Executive Council then decided that the cost of the new premises was too expensive for the surgery premises and, as a consequence, the site had to be shared with the new Library.

The surgery premises then had to be redesigned. The new plan was basically the present Health Centre, but the Doctors were unhappy with the design. It became a “take it or leave it” situation, so we had to accept the present unsatisfactory design.With the Health Centre and Library on the one site, car parking became a problem. With the great help of the late Councillor Elsie Gush, the present car park was bought by the Sidmouth Urban District Council for sole use by “clients” of the Health Centre and Library. I, therefore, fully support and endorse the current plan to redevelop the Health Centre.

Dr David Hall