New centre means doctors’ practice is in good health

3/11/2011 (SM)''The new one million pound Cowplain Family Practice was officially opened on Thursday evening of the 3rd November 2011. ''Pictured is: (l-r) Gillian Attridge who has been a practice nurse at Cowplain Family Practice since 1983, Ruth Loveman from St Wilfrid's Church in Cowplain and has been a patient for 66 years and Judy Jordan who was a practice nurse at Cowplain Family Practice for 25 years and retired in 1993.''Picture: Sarah Standing (113914-7289)
3/11/2011 (SM)''The new one million pound Cowplain Family Practice was officially opened on Thursday evening of the 3rd November 2011. ''Pictured is: (l-r) Gillian Attridge who has been a practice nurse at Cowplain Family Practice since 1983, Ruth Loveman from St Wilfrid's Church in Cowplain and has been a patient for 66 years and Judy Jordan who was a practice nurse at Cowplain Family Practice for 25 years and retired in 1993.''Picture: Sarah Standing (113914-7289)
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IT USED to hold the unwanted title of the worst surgery in Hampshire due to its cramped conditions – but now Cowplain Family Practice has officially opened a new £1m state-of-the-art health centre.

After years of campaigning for a new building, doctors, nurses and patients at the practice were delighted as the Mayor of Havant, Ken Smith, opened the centre in Padnell Road, Cowplain last night.

The practice used to operate from the neighbouring surgery – which cost just £2,000 to build.

And in 2009 it received the damming verdict of the worst in Hampshire in terms of facilities due to its lack of space.

However the new centre – with its 10 consulting rooms, two treatment rooms, a meeting room and large patient waiting area – is streets ahead of its predecessor.

Ruth Loveman, 66, of Cotwell Avenue, Cowplain, has been a patient at the surgery all her life.

She said: ‘The old building was fine when it was new, but over time it gradually got overcrowded as more people joined and it really started to show its age.

‘The difference now is unbelievable – the new surgery is far superior.’

Around 150 people attended the opening, including one of the surgery’s first nurses who worked in the practice since it was founded in 1968, Judy Jordan.

Judy, 77, of Park Lane, Cowplain, who retired in 1993 but is still a patient at the surgery, said: ‘The old centre was a converted bungalow and it was so small.

‘We quickly outgrew it and by the end of it everything was looking a bit dilapidated.

‘The new building has revitalised the centre and I’m really looking forward to coming here now.’

Blood clinics will run from the practice which has more than 8,000 registered patients.

An NHS and private dentist will run from the top floor of the three-storey building and will open in January.

And the first floor will become Cowplain Healthspace with 13 consulting rooms offering outpatient facilities, including physiotherapy, minor surgery, and diagnostics including X-ray, MRI scans and ultrasound.