The first fully operational new GP health centre in the East Midlands was officially opened in Corby, Northamptonshire, yesterday (9 December 2008) by health minister Phil Hope.
The Lakeside Plus centre (pictured, with Mr Hope centre) is the first of four new GP health centres set to open across Northamptonshire and 12 across the East Midlands, providing local people with additional GP services.
The centres will see patients from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, and are part of the government’s drive to increase access to family doctor services. The region will also benefit from six new and additional GP practices in its most poorly served area as part of the same government initiative.
Any member of the public will be able to use the additional services provided by the Lakeside Plus centre, while staying registered with their local family doctor. Patients can also choose to register at the Lakeside Plus centre if they wish to do so and will receive the same services they would receive at any GP practice.
Mr Hope said yesterday: "I am delighted to be opening the Lakeside Plus GP health centre in Corby, which will undoubtedly make a huge difference in improving access to healthcare for local people.
"Across Northamptonshire, 85% of existing practices are now offering extra appointments in evenings, early mornings or weekends. This is a great achievement, thanks to the hard work of GPs and their staff. New GP health centres like this one in Corby will complement existing practices and help to improve the health of local communities."
The new health centre will offer a range of innovative services tailored to meet the health needs of local people, including a nurse-led minor illness service, screening for health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and sexually transmitted diseases, sexual health services, health and wellbeing clinics, and an out-of-hours weekend service.