Posted by Daniel Harper at 29/03/2018 09:54:24
The NHS in Thanet is to receive up to £2.5 million funding towards a new state-of-the art health centre.
The funding boost was announced today by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Jeremy Hunt. In total £19.5 million was awarded for projects in Kent and Medway and there was £760 million of capital funding for NHS projects across the country.
The Thanet money will be used to help pay towards a £6.5 million extension to the Bethesda Medical Centre, in Palm Bay Avenue, Margate. The extension will result in the centre more than doubling in size.
At the Bethesda site there are plans to add enough consulting rooms for GPs and nurses to provide care for up to 32,000 patients. There will be clinics for physiotherapy, audiology, ophthalmology, ultrasound and minor surgery for patients from Margate and beyond. There will be space for GPs, nurses, community and mental health professionals and voluntary organisations to work together as well as space for training which patient groups could use in the evenings and at weekends.
In addition the centre will include a café, a community kitchen, a gym for physio, an outside gym area, an allotment area and more, to help local people to lead healthier lifestyles. There will also be a bigger pharmacy.
A planning application was submitted to Thanet District Council at the beginning of March 2018. As well as this latest funding the project had already also secured £2 million from the Estates and Technical Transformation Fund.
Tony Martin, Clinical Chair of the NHS Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group, which commissions healthcare across the district, said: “We were extremely pleased to hear this news which will help us in our bid to drive plans forward for patients.
“Our plans at the Bethesda site will help us to provide integrated primary and community care for our growing local community. We will be able to offer an enhanced range of services with increased opening hours.
“Bringing health and care services all under one roof makes things easier for patients, with them not having to go over their stories several times and also developments like this are a real draw for medical professionals and care staff, which will help with recruitment problems we sometimes experience.”
The funding announcement comes in the year that the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday. The capital funding announced nationally is the single biggest injection of its kind in the NHS in over a decade.
Glenn Douglas, Chief Executive of the Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, said: “This is fantastic news for Kent. This funding is a huge boost for the county and gives us the green light for several exciting and innovative projects to provide new buildings, new services and improved care.
“This funding will help us in our plans to provide quality care in local communities. It will also help us to continue to meet the needs of the growing and ageing population.”
In his announcement made on Wednesday 28 March the Secretary of State of Health and Social Care Jeremy Hunt said: “As the NHS reaches its 70th birthday it is absolutely fundamental that we support it to evolve to offer patients targeted, smarter and more effective care so that services remain world-class for years to come.
“We’re giving money to pioneering NHS projects for new buildings, new wards and beds and projects where patients will see their GP, hospital and community care services working seamlessly around their individual needs.”
Dr Fiona Armstrong, co-chair of the Kent and Medway Clinical and Professional Board, said: “The additional funding is great news for patients and health professionals alike. It will help us to further our plans and ambitions for better local care, improved urgent care services and greatly improve patient experience.
“Patients consistently tell us that they want more services to be provided in their local communities, without the need to travel to hospital. This funding boost means we are in a much better position to do that.”
Today’s £760 million investment in Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships is part of a £2.9 billion fund being made available to the NHS by Government from 2017 to 2023 to modernise facilities and improve patient care.