New £7m health centre goes out to consultation

Councillor Julia Berry at the site of the planned Chorley east health centre.
Councillor Julia Berry at the site of the planned Chorley east health centre.
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Residents are being asked for their views on a proposed new £7m multi-purpose health centre in Chorley.

It is intended a planning application for the new Friday Street centre for Chorley east will be submitted in June.

If it gets the go-ahead, construction is expected to start this winter, with the centre open in winter 2016.

This month and next, though, health bosses want to hear what people think about the plans and if there is anything they want to be taken into consideration.

Ward councillor Julia Berry said: “Not surprisingly, residents’ first response to hearing of the consultation is disbelief as they’ve been let down so much in the past.

“It’s going to be a huge leap of faith for them to think that Friday Street Health Centre is now going to be delivered and there’s a time frame.

“This consultation won’t just be about venting anger and disappointment though. It’s important to capture what services local residents want to see and what obstacles they have to accessing good health care and how our local NHS can support them.”

She added: “I’m personally feeling positive about the progress that is being made now and I’ve stuck with my GP surgery in Chorley East through thick and thin and know that local doctors practices are just as keen to see this project delivered.

“Knowing that there are still elements of risk and affordability, it’s important that the NHS and Chorley Council are open and transparent from the next steps and all the way to delivery.

“A new health centre on its own won’t transform people’s health - it will be the services provided within then that will make a difference.

“People need to be able to access these services easily and in a timely manner.

“The Friday Street Health Centre project group needs to continue listening to residents who will play a significant part in their own health care so that they too can contribute to improving health outcomes in Chorley East.

“Most responses I’ve received so far have been of a practical nature. Residents further away for the proposed site are asking about public transport links whilst Primrose Street residents are anxious about existing car parking problems in the area and whether these will be made worse by the development - these concerns will be hopefully be fully addressed at the planning application stage.”

Working with the council, Chorley east councillors and volunteers have set up a drop-in at Tatton Community Centre on February 26, from noon to 2pm and will be having on-going meetings with residents groups to hear as many views as possible.

The centre, on the corner of Friday Street and Stump Lane, which was first discussed 10 years ago, will bring together a range of health services that are currently spread across different locations.

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, which owns the land for the proposed new development, is working with its partners on plans to develop the new facility for Chorley east, which currently has no health centre.

Health bosses say putting services in one place in the new development will also help to improve the health of local people.