Brackley Medical Centre and Community Hospital in Wellington Road will include a GP surgery featuring 16 consulting and treatment rooms and a dedicated urgent care unit. The building will also house a new high-tech pharmacy, located adjacent to the reception area, with a state of the art automated robot picking system, and two consulting rooms.
Thanks to a partnership with the Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust, Brackley Community Hospital 2020 Trust and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, facilities will include an X-Ray department, specialist clinics, physiotherapy and a well-being hub.
Dr Philip Stevens, one of eight GP partners at Brackley Medical Centre, said: “The opening of this new medical facility is very exciting. We have been planning for this day for a very long time and are delighted that it is nearly here.
“The new centre will enable us to dramatically expand the range of services and care available for the people of Brackley and neighbouring villages in South Northants and on the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire borders.
“The facilities will be second to none and we have to give thanks to the Brackley Community Hospital 2020 Trust, which has so far raised more than £172,799 to finance community assets including a high-spec X-ray machine (the charity is funding the additional spend required to upgrade from the basic machine provided by the NHS) and various specialist features in the hospital rooms to enhance patient stay and aid recovery. Continual fundraising is on-going to support the introduction of further services.”
Provisional go-ahead for a new Brackley Medical Centre and Community Hospital was approved by the NHS Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in 2009, following which a core committee -- involving GPs, CCG members, Community Healthcare Trust representatives, trustees of the Brackley Cottage Hospital and representatives of town, district and county councils -- was formed to take matters forward. The project has also been fully supported by South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom.
Building work on the 4,200 square metre site began in earnest in January 2019 with the hope of opening during the summer of 2020. However, delays due to Covid-19, caused the opening to be put back to November 2020.
Dr Stevens said: “The Coronavirus pandemic has obviously delayed things. Not only did we have a time when our contractors were unable to work on the site, but we also lost some of our supplies … the original flooring that was due to be delivered for the community hospital, for example, was re-directed to be used in the London Nightingale.
"That said, the contractors, Wildgoose Construction, have done an amazing job and I would like to pay tribute to site manager Richard Williams who has done his utmost to keep things as on track as possible.”
Currently, Brackley Medical Centre GP Practice operates from two sites on the Halse Road, which include Washington House Surgery and Brackley Health Centre.
In addition to the eight GP partners the practice employs two further GPs, two registrars, 11 nurses and health care assistants and a host of support staff, all of whom will be relocating to the new site.
All of the surgery’s existing patients will automatically be registered at the new centre which will also be taking on new registrations. Community facilities at the new site will be available to all local residents and will provide choice for patients from surrounding areas to receive treatment.
The initial opening of the new building in November will see the launch of the new GP practice, Lowick Pharmacy and the community services. There will be a phased opening of new elements not currently provided, including the x-ray department and intermediate care beds, over the following weeks.
Patients already registered with Brackley Medical Centre will be getting a sneak preview of the new site during October when Brackley Medical Centre will be operating ‘drive-through’ flu clinics from the centre’s new 130-space car park.
Brackley Medical Centre Head nurse Jane Wilkinson said: “Normally our waiting rooms are packed during flu clinics as we try to ensure that as many of our eligible patients as possible are vaccinated. However, due to Covid-19, we needed to find a space where we could operate safely under social distancing rules. With the new centre nearly completed, the car park provides the perfect venue for us to operate drive-through flu clinics.”