Hingham surgery extension opens
Stephanie BrooksPatients at a south Norfolk doctors surgery, which has just completed a �200,000 extension, were given their first tour of its new facilities.The official opening of the extension at Hingham Surgery took place on Friday afternoon, which has increased the size of the GP practice by almost 50pc.Stephanie Brooks
PATIENTS at a south Norfolk doctors surgery, which has just completed a �200,000 extension, were given their first tour of its new facilities.
The official opening of the extension at Hingham Surgery took place on Friday last week, which has increased the size of the GP practice by almost 50pc.
The ribbon was cut by Dr Lawson Baxter, who worked at the surgery from 1986 until 2008.
The extension incorporates a new GP consultation room, a new nurses' suite and waiting room, an improved dispensary area and will enable physiotherapy sessions to be held downstairs.
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Before the build all patients were having to gather in one small waiting room and doctors were having to share consultation rooms.
It has now allowed the surgery, in Hardingham Street, to employ an extra GP and take on a currently part-time GP on a full-time basis. It now has six GPs and three nurses.
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Dr Shaun Conway, lead GP at Hingham Surgery, said: 'We are delighted that the extension is now finished and we can't wait to be able to use the space.
'Patients will really benefit as the increase in capacity allows us to see patients in a more suitable clinical environment.
'I am very grateful to our staff and patients for their understanding during the building work and would also like to express my thanks to our builders Smiths of Honingham.'
The build was approved by NHS Norfolk, which provided �100,000 towards the cost of the extension as part of its Premises Upgrade Programme, with the rest being supplied through a loan. Construction began in January and took seven months to complete.
Keith Shilton, from NHS Norfolk's Estates Team, said: 'This extension will provide patients with a bigger and better GP surgery and makes the practice much more suitable to respond to increasing demand in the future.
'This project demonstrates NHS Norfolk's commitment to upgrade primary care buildings in order to reflect the needs of patients now and in preparation of demands in the future.'
Patient Elaine Carr, of Hingham, said: 'I can not believe how much they have done. I was not expecting it to be so big. The waiting room to see the nurses is absolutely beautiful.'
Fellow Hingham resident Geoff Norton said: 'It's very nice. The builders have done very, very well. They had a bad start with the weather but everything has worked out well.'