It’s all systems go for a brand new health centre in Cinderford following agreement of the contractual arrangements between the town’s two GP surgeries and  specialist development company Assura.

The news means that work can now progress to replace the town’s existing health centre, which houses both Dockham Road Surgery and Forest Health Care, with a modern, purpose-built £5m facility which will be built on Valley Road.

The new building will take around 12 months to complete and work is due to begin shortly. It will be built to modern, comfortable, state-of-the-art specifications, and will include additional consulting rooms, nurse treatment areas and first-rate facilities for reception and administration staff, making it a great environment for both patients and staff. Completion and opening is scheduled for summer 2020.

Dr Ingalill Sandys, GP at Dockham Road surgery said:

“We are delighted and really excited that our plans for a contemporary, new health centre are moving forward.

Our current premises no longer meet modern healthcare standards, and with a growing population, we desperately need a new health centre to ensure we can continue to provide high quality services for years to come.

We have put a lot of thought into creating an attractive building and surrounding environment which will be welcoming to all our patients, including those with dementia.”

Dr Deborah Lane GP at Forest Health Care said:

“This is great news for our patients and staff.  The new building will help us to meet the ever-increasing health and care needs of our patients and offer a broader range of services to patients.

We have placed a real focus on ensuring that the building and staff can really support people living with dementia. For example, people with dementia can find it difficult to read everyday signs and may require help to find their way around. We will have signs that include symbols and pictures, which can be easier for people to understand.”

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

“This is really positive news. The new centre will enable doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to offer a broader range of services to patients than the existing facilities can support.

It also promises to offer an attractive work environment for GPs and the practice teams and we are delighted that patients and staff will be able to benefit from facilities that are fit for modern healthcare.”

Jon Webb, Senior Development Manager at Assura, said:

“This project will be the first of its kind to put those with dementia at the centre of the planning and delivery process. We have strong ties with Dementia UK as they are our chosen charity, so we are delighted to be working on this development.”

This development is part of wider plans to improve GP premises in the district and is not related, or dependent, on a future decision on the location of a new community hospital for the Forest of Dean.

A small event will be held in June 2019 to mark the start of construction, with a view to the new centre opening in the summer of 2020.