New Emsworth surgery plans firmly on health minister's radar

PLANS to move and expand a doctors' surgery are being considered by the Department of Health.

Wednesday, 14th September 2016, 5:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 1:53 pm
The empty Victoria Cottage Hospital in Emsworth

Havant MP Alan Mak is hoping to finally end the 10-year deadlock on plans for an expanded clinic at the old Victoria Cottage Hospital site in Emsworth.

The Emsworth Surgery hopes to move into a new building on the site.

Mr Mak has been lobbying Lord Prior, the health minister responsible for NHS Property Services, over the £4.4m scheme.

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Following the meeting in Westminster, Mr Mak says he is ‘delighted’ that Lord Prior is taking an interest in the project.

He said: ‘I’m working hard to get the Emsworth surgery move back on track, both locally and in Westminster.

‘After being elected I made sure this was one of my top priorities and I have been lobbying government ministers hard to make sure that construction can begin as soon as possible.’

Mr Mak’s meeting with Lord Prior follows the submission of a £4.4m capital funding bid, as well as meetings with doctors, councillors and NHS bosses earlier this year.

The drawing of an outline design has already been granted, while a feasibility study for the wider site is due for completion by the end of the month.

Rents and service charge levels are yet to be agreed between the surgery and NHS Property Services.

Mr Mak continued: ‘Much work is needed to be done and although very positive signs have been emerging in recent weeks I will continue my efforts until the funds are secured.’

Lord Prior, who has called Mr Mak ‘a strong voice for Emsworth and his constituency in Westminster’, will meet the Havant MP again in October to review progress.

He said: ‘I can assure local residents that the Department of Health has this project for a new Emsworth surgery building firmly on its radar and I’ll continue working with Alan as the project progresses.’

The project has become a top priority for South Eastern Hampshire’s Clinical Commissioning Group.

Lisa Medway, from the CCG, said: ‘I am pleased that Lord Prior has this development on his agenda. The CCG is working hard to support the Emsworth practice to build a new surgery and progress continues to be made.’