12:23 15 October 2022
Calls are mounting for firm details and dates on which builders can usher in much-needed village surgery.
After years of arguing for the construction of a medical center in Rackheath, campaigners hope the NHS will provide more details of a new primary care center for the growing village near the NDR at a crucial meeting October 25.
There is no GP or medical center in the village, which could have another 4,000 homes, meaning people have to go to other practices including Wroxham and Hoveton Medical Center, Thorpewood Medical Group at Woodside Road, Thorpe St Andrew.
General plans for Green Lane East Medical Center were backed by Broadland District Council last year, but the business case being signed off is the final hurdle.
A spokesperson for NHS Norfolk and Waveney said: ‘The business case for the capital funding program to develop four proposed primary care centers has been approved.
“Assuming the approvals process goes as planned, this means that individual projects can expand their business cases for approval with the full business case for the new construction of the Rackheath hub scheduled for approval d by June 2023.
“Work is expected to start in early 2023 with the opening of a health center supporting the provision of general medical services and outpatient services from acute trust and community services, planned for spring 2024.”
Tony Emes, Rackheath area representative of the Hoveton and Wroxham Medical Center Patient Engagement Group, said: “I’m confident. I want to get more details on the program. They’re going to have to push it.”
In addition to general practitioner services, the primary care center would include midwifery services.
Fran Whymark, Rackheath District and County Conservative Councilor, said: ‘We need a medical center before we get more development.
He was hopeful government funding estimated at £6million would be released for the hub, but it was important that a final decision was made quickly as it was only available until 2024.
Mum-to-be Karen Patterson, who lives in the village and has a seven-month-old son, said: ‘With two young children it would be much easier to have surgery in Rackheath.