It was a day to celebrate at Tuckswood Surgery in Norwich, as two brand new consulting rooms and three refurbished rooms were officially opened.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was carried out by Dr Chris Hutchinson – well known and well loved by patients for whom he was family doctor for 35 years and who retired at Christmas.
The extension and refurbishment has taken several months to complete and cost £160,000, paid for jointly by an NHS England grant and a significant contribution from the practice itself.
It brings the total number of rooms available to see patients from seven to nine and means the surgery can develop its GP training programme.
Dr Tesh Patel, a partner at the surgery said: "These two new rooms and three refurbished rooms will make the surgery a larger and more pleasant space for patients and staff alike.”
The extra space is much needed. The team at Tuckswood are passionate about developing the surgery as a health and support hub for the community. Other health and care services regularly use the rooms to see patients, such as midwives, physiotherapists and for eye clinics.
Tuckswood also runs a social prescribing project jointly with Age UK Norwich and Community Action Norfolk. Patients who have come to see a doctor can be referred to the voluntary organisations for some extra ‘social’ support to help sort out issues in their lives which may be contributing to or causing health problems, such as loneliness or housing.
And Tuckswood Surgery is also planning to expand its GP training programme and use some of the extra capacity to host student doctors and registrars during their training. Many practices offer placements like this, to ensure the doctors of the future are given a good grounding in primary care and a better insight into being a GP if they choose.