CONSTRUCTION work on a new doctors surgery in the heart of Winchester will start next year.

The city council has exchanged contracts for a 150 year long leasehold for the Upper Brook Street GP Surgery car park site.

This is ahead of the planned relocation of nearby St Clements Surgery, which serves around 15,000 people.

Property specialist Assura is behind the new building and says that construction is expected to start on site in 2022.

The new site designs will be overhauled to better cater for the modern needs of primary care, including increased digital-uptake of services and pandemic resilience.

GP Partner at St Clements Surgery, Dr Suzie Burns, said: “We are extremely excited about our new development, our patients and staff deserve a modern practice, equipped to meet the needs of our city centre population.

"The new building will provide us with well-designed spaces for face to face consultations and better accessibility for those with disabilities, dementia, young children and extra needs.”

Since February 2020 the city council has worked with St Clements and West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to deliver a building to meet the needs of local residents.

Planning permission for the scheme was granted in 2016 and minor amendments are now being planned to ensure the layout is future-proofed and adapted to ensure the latest advancements clinical care can be accommodated.

Assura plc and the CCG have also jointly-commissioned an in-depth multi-year study to assess the increased digital-first focus of GPs on patient outcomes.

Cabinet member for housing and asset management, Cllr Kelsie Learney, added: "We’re delighted that the development of the Upper Brook St GP surgery has moved to the next stage. The new building will help provide better medical care in the heart of Winchester."

On October 13, St Clements and Assura will be holding a public drop-in event at the Guildhall for those who wish to find out more on the project.

Clinical director at North and Mid Hampshire CCG, Dr Charlotte Hutchings, said: “This is a priority project and we are pleased to support it and benefit patients locally.”