A new £5.4m health centre development in Coleford has moved a big step forward this month following approval from the Primary Care Commissioning Committee of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

With confirmation that the CCG fully supports the planning application for the scheme, the two GP surgeries, Brunston and Lydbrook Practice and Coleford Family Doctors, can now progress plans to move from their current three buildings into one new purpose-built facility and also merge into one practice.

Both practices have outgrown their current premises, and with the local population continuing to increase, more modern premises that are fit for purpose would enable the practices to meet growing demands and offer a broader range of services to patients.

By merging, the practices would be able to share resources, become more resilient and work more flexibly and efficiently, offering extended opening times to patients and a safer, more comfortable environment for both staff and patients.

The extra space would be used for additional consulting and treatment rooms which would allow the practices to expand and provide different kinds of support, for example from nurses, and pharmacists. It would also enable significantly more doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to receive training.

The proposed building site is on the edge of Coleford in an area known as The Gorse, adjacent to both the Coombs nursing home and the Great Oaks Hospice.

Director of Primary Care at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Helen Goodey said:

“We are delighted that this development is moving forward. The new health centre would be modern, spacious and environmentally friendly, and would enable doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to offer a broader range of services to patients.

It is hoped that subject to planning permission being obtained in January 2021, building work on the new centre could start in summer 2021, taking around 12 months to complete.”

When operational, the new practice is expected to provide GP services to around 15,000 patients.

On behalf of both practices, Dr Elizabeth Williams, GP partner at Coleford Family Doctors, said:

“We are delighted that that this new health centre in Coleford is moving a step closer to becoming a reality, and we look forward to progressing our plans to bring much needed, modern and spacious premises to the area.

This would really help us to meet the ever-increasing health and care needs of our patients and ensure that we can continue to provide high quality services for years to come.”

This development is part of wider plans to improve GP premises across the county.