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Eye health village plans go on display

PUBLISHED: 08:42 19 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:46 12 July 2010

Building work on a new multi-million pound “health village” for a rural community could start during 2010, according to plans to be put on public display by NHS Suffolk.

Building work on a new multi-million pound “health village” for a rural community could start during 2010, according to plans to be put on public display by NHS Suffolk.

It is inviting residents to view regeneration proposals for the Hartismere Hospital site at Eye which include facilities for GPs, mental health and children's services and complementary medicine therapists.

Plans also show space for a birthing unit, to replace the existing Gilchrist Unit, a diagnostics department and space earmarked for additional clinical services in the future.

Hartismere Hospital was once one of the county's biggest geriatric hospitals but in-patient beds were gradually phased out leaving only a few facilities, including a well- respected physiotherapy department.

A public outcry failed to stop the changes, although protests became more muted as health chiefs announced plans to retain and create more out-patient services and implement a “care in the community” approach. Proposals were also put forward for part of the large site to be developed as a private care home, with some beds being contracted by the public sector, and for the financing of the project by a land sale for private housing.

Now NHS Suffolk - the county's primary care trust - and the East of England Strategic Health Authority are on course to approve proposals ready for a planning application to be submitted next year.

However, officials are first putting the outline plans on public display - at Eye Town Hall on December 9 between 2.30pm and 6pm.

Members of the NHS Suffolk team spearheading the project, along with representatives from the architectural firm commissioned to design the scheme, will be available to answer questions and receive comments.


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