Dec 19 2012 By Louise Reilly
The long wait for a new Hunter Health Centre could finally be over.
NHS Lanarkshire are poised to submit a planning application to South Lanarkshire Council for a £24million state-of the art replacement to the existing centre.
The new five-storey, 6300 square-metre community health centre is planned for the land immediately adjacent to the current facility.
If given approval, the planned completion date for the new health centre will be late 2015.
The multi-million pound medical centre will house a wide range of NHS Lanarkshire services including those currently based in the existing health centre as well as those which are located in the nearby Atholl House and the Red Deer Centre.
Services will include: The six existing GP practices, one general dental practice, podiatry, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy.
It will also include an all community treatment room activity, phlebotomy, mental health, public health nurses and long-term condition nurses.
The present facility, with an estimated 50,000 patients, is the town’s busiest health centre, but there have long been complaints about the poor state of the building, which some have branded a health hazard.
Graham Johnston, NHS Lanarkshire’s head of management services, this week, said: “Public engagement events which we organised in Hunter Health Centre back in August gave our staff and locals the chance to see how the new development will look.
“People also got an idea of the scale of the development as well as where it will sit in the landscape and full details of the range of services to be provided.
“They also got a chance to ask any questions they may have had.
“We were very pleased with how these events went and we’re delighted to be taking things forward with the planning application.”
The plans for the new centre are also currently being displayed in Atholl House and the Red Deer Centre.
Welcoming the planning application news was Wilson Paton, vice chair of the East Kilbride Public Patient Forum, who is the public representative on the project board.
He said: “This is progressing very well and we’re receiving some positive feedback. I would like to congratulate NHS Lanarkshire on their public engagement to date.”
The Hunter Health Centre plan is part of a proposal which NHS Lanarkshire submitted in January this year to the Scottish Government’s Health Directorate’s (SGHD) Capital Investment Group (CIG) to develop three new health centres in East Kilbride, Wishaw and Kilsyth.
The planning applications for all three sites will be submitted before Christmas 2012.