Norwich gets new doctors' surgery
Dan GrimmerThousands of people are set to benefit from the expansion of a GP surgery on the outskirts of Norwich, which could also relieve pressure on overstretched hospitals.Dan Grimmer
Thousands of people are set to benefit from the expansion of a GP surgery on the outskirts of Norwich, which could also relieve pressure on overstretched hospitals.
An extension to the Cringleford Surgery was officially opened yesterday to unveil additional consulting rooms, a dedicated minor surgery complex and a larger waiting area for patients.
The new unit will mean treatment for almost double the number of patients - currently there is capacity for about 4,000 but this will increase to more than 7,000 patients.
There are also plans to get another doctor and more nursing staff as the surgery on Cantley Lane expands.
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Cyril Lindsey, managing partner of the surgery, said: 'This is great news for patients and staff. The extension means we can see a lot more patients and there are new consulting rooms as well as a minor surgery unit right on the doorstep.
'We cater for patients in Hethersett, Cringleford and Mulbarton so we cover a wide area. It is very important that as many people as possible can visit their GP instead of going to A&E departments if this is not necessary.
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'We will be expanding incrementally but have already added a lot of patients to the list.'
The extension was officially opened by the former head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, who lives nearby.
Funding for the project was from the partners of the surgery and NHS Norfolk, with construction work beginning on land next door to the existing surgery in August 2009.
Health bosses are trying to get as many people cared for in the community and with GPs to avoid the need for them to go into hospital.
The A&E department at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has seen an 11pc increase in patient attendances within a year, some of which could have been treated more appropriately at their GP surgery.
In a speech at the opening ceremony Siobhan Rowe, a senior partner at the surgery said the work was carried out by a 'cohesive and supportive' team with the facility only closing for one day over the seven-month construction period.
Keith Shilton, from NHS Norfolk's estate commissioning team, said: 'This extension is an excellent addition to the Cringleford Practice, as it enables the surgery to provide GP services to the increasing population of their area.'
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