THE leader of the Liberal Democrats has visited Winchester to see work being done on a city centre GP surgery.

Ed Davey visited the new St Clements surgery, which is under construction on Upper Brook Street.

Joined by the leader of Winchester Town Council, Cllr Martin Tod, and the Parliamentary candidate for Winchester Danny Chambers, Mr Davey toured the site and met with some of the builders working to finish the surgery.

Hampshire Chronicle: L-R: Ed Davey, Danny Chambers and Martin TodL-R: Ed Davey, Danny Chambers and Martin Tod (Image: Chris Atkinson)READ MORE: MP candidate slams 'excessive' pay of water company executives

Speaking with the Chronicle following the tour, Mr Davey said: “It’s great to be back in Winchester, I’ve come here a lot because this is a seat that we think we can take off the Conservatives. It’s a very close fight here in Winchester, and we have a fantastic candidate in Danny Chambers, I am really keen to see him in the House of Commons.

“We think many lifelong Conservatives are switching to us here in Winchester, and one of the issues is the health service. They feel that the Conservatives have not made a priority of the health services, and Rishi Sunak has just given us his five new priorities this week and not one of them was the health service.

“There is a really damaging shortage of GPs in places like Winchester, but also across England and Wales, and everyone knows it. At the last election, the Conservatives promised to have 6,000 more GPs, but instead of delivering that promise we now have 500 fewer. It has led to a crisis in primary care, putting more pressure on the hospital sector, and we need to turn it around.

“We have a four-year costed plan to make sure we get 4,000 GPs by retaining them, training more and making sure medical students choose to be GPs, by encouraging people to come back into the profession.

Hampshire Chronicle: L-R: Martin Tod, Danny Chambers, Ed DaveyL-R: Martin Tod, Danny Chambers, Ed Davey (Image: Chris Atkinson)SEE MORE: 'We’re really pleased with the space': New hairdressing salon opens in city centre

“We wouldn’t be able to do it overnight, but it is something we would do.”

As previously reported, St Clements' Surgery is being built on the former car park on the corner of Friarsgate and Upper Brook Street as a replacement for the current practice in Tanner Street.

The building, constructed by developer Assura, now has basic frames in place, ready for the rest of the work to continue.

The new development will accommodate staff and patients and include 15 consulting rooms, three treatment rooms, admin facilities, a larger reception, waiting areas and staff parking.