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Kennedy House moves to next stage after funding approved Issued on behalf of NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group

Health leaders and patient groups in Clacton have welcomed the decision to commence a £1.5m redevelopment of an existing NHS property to increase local access to GP services.

The work on the ground floor of Kennedy House in Clacton will also enable the relocation of clinical services provided at two nearby practices:

Today’s announcement follows previous engagement exercises (the Big Care Debate and the Urgent Care Review) which found that many local people wanted services delivered from fit-for-purpose premises.

Dr Ed Garratt, Chief Executive of the NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “This is fantastic news for people in east Clacton and brings to an end years of uncertainty around the future of GP services in the area.

“I am especially excited by this redevelopment as it brings a range of exciting opportunities in providing services in the future.

“For instance, a big part of our plans involve introducing new technologies such as digital points within Kennedy House.

“We have also designed a space for patient training – giving patients a facility to learn with clinicians how to manage any health-related condition they may have more effectively.”

Clacton MP Giles Watling echoed the improvement for local people, saying:

“This is truly welcome news and will further improve services for local residents.

“I have worked closely with the CCG and know that Dr Garratt and his staff are committed to delivering the best services possible.

“This redevelopment is another step on that journey, and I will continue to work with the CCG to ensure that the transition from the two local practices to Kennedy House is seamless.

“The most important thing is to deliver the best possible service to our residents.”

Jane Taylor, the CCG’s Senior Estates Development Manager, said: “By adapting Kennedy House in this way we are making the best use of an existing NHS building.

“We have worked extensively with local clinicians to design the ground floor space and are continuing to engage with local people to ensure the cosmetic internal appearance of the building is dementia-friendly.

“Our scheme is also hoping to appoint a local building contractor to carry out the improvement works.”

The NHS North East Essex CCG recently appointed Ranworth Surgery in Clacton to deliver GP services on a 12-month caretaker basis at four practice sites in the area. Once the work has finished, Ranworth will provide services at Kennedy House.

Rita Garnett, Chair of the Frinton Road Patient Participation Group, said: “This is great news for our local patients and I am delighted the new leadership teams at the CCG and Ranworth have been working so hard to get the scheme to this stage.

“The surgery at Frinton Road is no longer fit for purpose as the building is a converted house and in need of full refurbishment to ensure it complies with infection control requirements.

“The building is not big enough. There are not enough consultation rooms and those that we do have are inadequate.

"We have been calling for some time for improved facilities and we believe this redevelopment will go a long way to address this issue".

Paul Cross, Regional Partnership Director for NHS Property Services, said: “The decision to commence with the redevelopment of Kennedy House demonstrates what can be achieved when partners in the NHS work positively and proactively together with local health providers on behalf of patients.

“Working with North East Essex CCG we have identified an opportunity to maximise the utilisation of the NHS estate.

“This means patients can expect redeveloped and expanded modern health facilities in a location familiar to them.

“We look forward to welcoming the two general practices, staff and patients to ‘new’ Kennedy House in autumn 2020.”

Work is expected to start on the redevelopment in the early spring and is due for completion by the end of autumn this year.