New healthcare hub to be built after receiving final seal of approval

The construction of a new healthcare facility will begin next month after long-awaited proposals were given the green light by the NHS.

The healthcare hub, earmarked for land off Nar Ouse Way in South Lynn, is now fully expected to be up and running by next May.

After also receiving planning permission and being approved by the Primary Care Commissioning Committee, it is expected to assist in dealing with extra healthcare pressures that come from the town’s ongoing expansion.

The new health centre at Nar Ouse Way in South Lynn has been given the final seal of approval
The new health centre at Nar Ouse Way in South Lynn has been given the final seal of approval

The facility forms part of a £25.5million capital investment which the NHS Norfolk and Waveney bid for in 2019 – with a similar hub in Rackheath, near Norwich, expected to get the go-ahead in the coming weeks.

Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of NHS Norfolk and Waveney, said: “We are delighted to get the final go ahead to proceed with this much-needed investment into healthcare services in Lynn and Rackheath.

“These facilities are a key part of the necessary infrastructure we need to deliver better and more sustainable health and social care within our communities.

“They will enable primary and community care services to be better integrated, and will improve access to care for people in these growing communities to help them lead healthier lives.”

The hub will be a modern, accessible, digitally-enabled facility where residents can access a range of health and care services. It is expected to help deliver outpatient services from Lynn’s hospital.

Jo Rust, West Norfolk Council’s cabinet member for people and communities, said: “This is excellent news. The healthcare hub will play an important part in the delivery of services to our local communities, particularly South Lynn where it will be located.

“This has the potential to unlock the delivery of local health services and stop the need for people to go to the hospital to access them.

“Anything that can take some pressure away from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is something to be celebrated and we hope that we will be able to ensure it is built with this future in mind.”

Norfolk County Council confirmed last week that a new bus service will stop at the building.

The 3H Town Link service, which started on Monday this week, passes by the centre’s proposed location on its route. It also travels to the new St James Medical Practice in South Wootton.

Alex Kemp, who represents South Lynn on the borough and county councils, told the Lynn News: “This is really, really good news. We have had to campaign so hard.

“This is going to make a huge difference to improving health inequalities. We are really really pleased about it.”

Health Minister Helen Whately said: “Alongside our plans to build 40 new hospitals by 2030 we are also upgrading over 70 hospitals across the country, and these new facilities in Lynn and Rackheath will help meet demand in the region and serve thousands more patients.

“Forming part of almost £26million of government funding in Norfolk and Waveney healthcare facilities, these state of the art hubs will offer a range of healthcare services for patients – from physiotherapy to mental health support.

“This approach will cut waiting times in the region – one of our top five priorities – and offer patients the highest quality care when and where they need it.”