Something old, something new

How an old schoolhouse near Colchester was given a new lease of life for the NHS

It was a twelve-year wait for the GPs of Wivenhoe Surgery, but in 2017 they finally got the new premises they'd been championing for their patients.

But theirs wasn't a brand new construction - far from it. Their move into a transformed Victorian school building brought a much-loved community site back into use as a vital piece of local infrastructure - proving that sometimes, the place for primary care lies in being creative with existing premises.

To prepare the building to become a health hub for more than 8,000 local patients, the site was fully refurbished to create the specialist space for which the practice has planned over many years.

The £1.5m overhaul, funded by Assura and delivered by our partners Ashley House, created more than 600m2 of space for consulting and treatment rooms as well as light and airy reception and waiting areas.

More car parking space for patients, additional designated drop off zones and good access for emergency vehicles all improve access to health facilities for local people. The building also offers opportunities for additional local NHS healthcare providers to deliver services under the same roof.

“This new building...marks the end of a lot of hard work and very much supports the local system’s plans to provide services in the community, closer to people’s homes.”

Sam Hepplewhite, Chief Officer, North East Essex CCG