An end to the lengthy saga around a new health centre for Burntwood could be in sight, according to Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant.
The town has failed to see development start on a new facility that had been promised following the closure of Hammerwich Hospital and St Matthews Hospital.
A health and wellbeing centre and Burntwood Leisure Centre was only ever designed to be a temporary measure and there had been fears over a healthcare shortage given the town’s rising population.
But Mr Fabricant says there may finally be light at the end of the tunnel for a proposed new centre at Greenwood House.
“I have been in close contact with Staffordshire County Council and South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula (SES&SP) Clinical Commissioning Group regarding the long delayed Burntwood Health Centre over the last few months and years,” he said. “An end is now in sight.
“Some of the delays were caused by the nature of the GP practices in Burntwood and an unwillingness to cooperate, but these problems have been overcome and construction work is expected to be well underway by March of 2019, if not sooner, subject to planning permission being granted by Lichfield District Council – there seems little doubt that planning permission will be granted.
“I would expect a brand new centre to be opened within three years on the old Greenwood House site on Lichfield Road in Burntwood.”
The former residential nursing home closed on the site in 2007 and the land is still owned by Staffordshire County Council.
Mr Fabricant said talks are ongoing about how best to utilise the new centre.
“Discussions have been on going with the nearby Fulfen and Spires practices for some years about a potential new health centre on the site,” he said. “This would mean both practices would relocate and that their current premises would then be vacated and returned to NHS Property Services.
“There is no space to grow on their existing site at Hudson Drive as it is surrounded on all sides by either residential or commercial buildings.
“The county has funded the preparation of drawings that have formerly been the basis of dialogue with both practices and the NHS England area team in trying to find a proposal that would meet the needs of the residents of Burntwood as well as the GP practices themselves.
“Architects drawings for the proposal are now fully developed and the plan is progressing full steam ahead.
“This much needed project has been long awaited by the people of Burntwood, but it does now look as if planning for the purpose built centre is well underway.”