Busy first day for health centre

Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Sudbury Community Health Centre became fully functional on Monday as staff and patients settled in to the new £10million facility.

Services at St Leonard’s and Walnuttree hospitals, as well as Siam Surgery, moved into the new building in Church Field Road this week.

Despite a few teething problems, the reaction to the facility has been mostly positive.

On the Free Press Facebook page, Helen Armstrong, who visited for an appointment when it opened on Monday, described it as “a real asset to the town”.

She praised the staff, as well as the architecture.

Kim Lillistone wrote that she was impressed with the facility, despite the long wait for a blood test.

The waiting times for blood tests and the overflowing car park were two problems highlighted by those visiting for the first time.

People also voiced concern over the location of the centre and the need for a walk-in centre.

Isabel Cockayne, head of communications at West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, thanked patients for their understanding over any delays they experienced.

“The blood service had to deal with an usually high number of patients, resulting in some patients waiting longer than they normally would,” she said.

“Car parking was also restricted due to an accident involving a road sweeper which took some of the bays out of action.

“Despite these setbacks, we received good feedback on the centre and services.”

Ms Cockayne also thanked staff who are settling in well to their new environment.

She said: “Monday’s opening of the new community health centre was undoubtedly a landmark achievement for local people and local healthcare services.

“The first day was challenging and busy, as would be expected when there is such a major transfer of services from three areas of the town into one building.”

Chambers has added a stop at the health centre to its 84 and 84A services, while Felix has added a stop to its 700 town service.