PATIENTS got the chance to see the new facilities at Barton Surgery following completion of the £1million extension.
Dawlish’s only GP surgery now boasts a three-storey extension which houses new consulting rooms, additional high quality staff facilities and meeting rooms.
The much-needed expansion will now meet the needs of a growing Dawlish population which is earmarked for up to 1,000 new homes.
The doors were thrown open at the weekend to reveal the extra facilities for the surgery’s 13,500 patients.
The aim of the project was to secure the future of healthcare in the town for the next 10 years.
Planners at Teignbridge Council unanimously approved the plans in November 2015 saying it was a much-needed facility in the town.
Situated on a site next to Barton car park, the surgery is also next to the town’s community hospital, which provides a minor injury unit, in-patient beds and out of hours GP service, so medical facilities are all concentrated in one area.
A nearby redundant gas store was demolished to make way for the extension. Alongside the surgery, the building is also now home to a pharmacy, opticians, physiotherapist and audiologist to complement the health hub.
Barton Surgery revealed the transformation to its surgery with the addition of an extension to increase its clinical space and training room facilities, with support from the NHS’ Estates, Technology and Transformation Fund.
The changes include additional clinical space for nurses, doctors and registrars to use and a dedicated meeting room for training.
Barton Surgery has worked with medical trainees from Exeter and Plymouth universities over the years and this extra space will give them the opportunity to increase the student numbers they train.
With this development the surgery believes it has ‘future proofed’ its facilities.
Six partners and practising GPs are responsible for this investment.
They work alongside four salaried GP’s, two registrars, three nurses, four healthcare assistants, an administrative team and two practice managers.
Dr John Whitehead has recently retired from the practice after 31 years’ service but he will return to support the team at their official opening.
Dr Anthony Clements, Barton Surgery partner, explained: ‘As the only doctors’ surgery in Dawlish, it’s important we continue to offer the local community first class health services.
‘We are seeing the local population rise each year due to increased housing developments, so we needed to address this issue.
‘By extending our surgery this allows us to increase patient availability and reduce waiting times, as well as training our future doctors.’
The open day gave a chance for patients to walk around the new-look surgery and see the new extension.
Local public health organisations such as the Clinical Commissioning Group were also on hand along with other health representatives.