A doctors’ practice in Hove has been given planning permission for a £400,000 extension so that more patients can be seen more quickly.
The proposed changes will enable Hove Medical Centre to have seven consulting rooms instead of the current four and there will be three rooms for nurses.
It could mean 400 extra appointments a week if funding is approved by the NHS.
The upgrade involves creating a “first floor” from the roof space to create an office and admin and filing area at the surgery which is nestled between West Way and Hangleton Road.
But the surgery will stay the same height and should remain unobtrusive, with the roof being built out – in part – to the current edges of the building.
The entrance will also be moved a few yards east and will be level to make it easier for people to get in and out.
And the work will be phased to minimise disruption for patients, with the aim of having everything completed by next spring at the latest.
The practice has a list size of almost 9,000 patients, including about 250 who switched from The Practice Hangleton Manor, in Northease Drive, after it was threatened with closure.
The closure has since been confirmed although the remaining 1,600 patients will be transferred next month to the Benfield Valley Healthcare Hub which also operates the Burwash Road Surgery.
The extension to Hove Medical Centre should enable the list to grow to about 12,000 patients just as plans are being prepared to build hundreds of new homes in nearby Toads Hole Valley.
It will ease the pressure on appointments which was flagged up during the recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection report.
The CQC rated the surgery as inadequate and placed it in special measures. A further inspection will take place within six months.
At the Hangleton and Knoll Health Forum this morning (Wednesday 29 June) staff from the practice spoke about the issues identified in the report and the steps already taken to deal with concerns.
Although the surgery extension is unlikely to be completed within six months, it will also help tackle issues raised by patients.
The surgery said: “Some of the issues highlighted in the CQC report will take longer (than six months) to address but we have a plan in place and the doctors and staff are committed to the work required to achieve the necessary improvements.
“We would like a patient participation group that meets regularly and helps us to improve and would invite you to attend the first meeting at 6.30pm on (Tuesday) 26 July at Hove Medical Centre if you would like to get involved.”