A surgery in Whittle-le-Woods has launched plans for a major expansion to cope with rapidly growing patient numbers.
Proposals submitted to town planners at Chorley Council outline a scheme for a new ‘super surgery’.
Practice manager at Whittle Surgery Keely Ollerton told the Guardian that the new build would be at least four times the size of the clinic doctors are operating out of now in Preston Road.
It will also have extra services and a community café.
“Whittle Surgery has submitted planning permission for a new build in the local area,” she said.
“We are excited by the prospect of moving in to new, purpose-built premises fit for 21st Century healthcare.
“It’s at least four times bigger from where we are at the minute. We are working out of a small place and need extra space.
“The new build will enable the practice to continue to offer services to our patients as our list size grows – currently at around 300 patients per year. The new premises will also enable the practice to work collaboratively with other local practices and healthcare services to provide new services such as diabetes clinics and extended opening times.”
The team at Whittle Surgery are aiming to have the proposed building in Preston Road, Clayton-Le-Woods up and running by Spring 2019.
In the meantime the surgery must secure funding from NHS England and it is working with the Frank Whittle Partnership on design features for the clinic.
In the Spring of this year Whittle Surgery announced it would be operating some of its doctors appointments out of a Portakabin. It was a way of keeping pace with soaring patient numbers, which have increased by over half in the last 16 years.
A spokesman at the time said that the 58 per cent rise was down to housing developments and the surgery needed more space to accommodate newcomers.
The surgery is now in the early stages of buying the piece of land from St John’s Church. In the meantime the proposals sent to Chorley Council outline a scheme to erect a part three-storey, part two-storey, part single-storey GP surgery.
Plans for the clinic also include a pharmacy and community café with associated car parking, access and landscaping following demolition of an existing building.
Chorley councillor Eric Bell, who represents Clayton-le-Woods and Whittle-le-Woods, has been fundamental in ensuring that the new site becomes available.
He said: “It’s a Godsend, a dream come true, a massive improvement for Clayton and Whittle. It’s good news both for the church and for the doctors. There will be a dentist and a chemist.
“The doctors are over the moon with it. It’s so badly needed.
“Hopefully it will all go through. Fingers crossed we have something we can be proud of. It’s a top priority really.
“We have been looking for a site like this for quite a while. There has been a lot of work involved over the years to get to this stage.”
Critically the new GP surgery, if it gets the green light at the planning stages, will help to address the ever increasing demand for infrastructure as houses continue to pop up.
Coun Bell said: “The whole system’s completely wrong, they keep building houses but they don’t do anything about the amenities which are over stretched and over subscribed.
“There is no parking space at the current site so they were struggling to get people to park but there’s parking for 75 cars at the new site.”
To view the plans for the new health centre search 17/00954/FULMAJ on Chorley Council’s planning documents online.