Warm welcome for health centre

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PATIENTS are celebrating the opening of a state-of-the-art Fylde coast health centre.

The three-storey clinic has been built on wasteland at Newton Drive, next to Bathurst Avenue, Grange Park.

As well as housing GPs – previously spread over two sites at the Newton Drive and Yates Street surgeries – the purpose-built facility also contains a dentist surgery and pharmacy.

Health bosses say the new centre will provide a better service for patients.

Ridwan Patel, owner of the HBS Pharmacy located in the centre, told The Gazette, feedback from patients had been good.

He said: “Locals have been waiting for years for this – they have seen other health centres open in the area and now at last they have their own.

“It is a one-stop-shop for patients, they are able to see a doctor and pick up a prescription on site.

“We open until 10pm six days a week so it is a brilliant facility for residents.”

More than 300 patients wrote to health bosses backing plans for the new centre, announced in 2009.

But some objections were raised by neighbours expressing concerns the clinic might lead to an increase in parking problems in the area surrounding the building.

Worries regarding traffic problems and the impact on the environment and neighbouring properties were also raised.

However the need for the facility outweighed objections and patients say they are pleased with the results.

Donna Hawkins, 40, of Devonshire Road, said the centre was a huge improvement.

She added: “I think it is brilliant, having the pharmacy and the doctors under one roof is so convenient.

“As a family we used to go to the surgery on Yates Street and although it was a good doctors I had to walk to another building for my prescription.

“This facility is so much more modern and offers more services but you get the same doctor so it’s a familiar face in a better building.”

Ann Keene, 71, of Layton Road, was a patient at Newton Drive surgery for 14 years.

She said it has taken a long time to get a better facility but she was happy it had arrived.

She added: “It has definitely been eagerly awaited and now it’s here it looks really good.

“I had no problems with the other surgery but this is a modern building and it is nice I can pick up my prescription under the same roof.

“The parking is good as well, there is car park and it is set away from properties.”

The site offers 56 car parking spaces, including five for the disabled and six secure staff and patient cycle stands.

There are also two motorbike parking spaces and a drop-off point.

The site is on a bus route and within walking distance of two bus stops, which have been upgraded to offer improved access for disabled people.