WORK is finally underway on Clacton’s long-awaited £1.5million “super surgery”.

The scheme will see two dated and cramped GP practices - Clacton’s Epping Close Surgery and Holland-on-Sea’s Frinton Road Medical Centre - move into refurbished NHS offices at Kennedy House, in Kennedy Way.

The surgeries currently have a total of almost 9,000 patients, but the new facility could support 12,000 patients.

North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group said the construction of a car park is due to be completed by the end of the month.

It paves the way for work to start on the inside of the ground floor of Kennedy House, which will see the creation of eight consulting rooms, seven treatment rooms, a phlebotomy room and a digital facility.

Dr Ed Garratt, chief executive of the CCG, said: “This is a fantastic scheme that will significantly benefit the way our local system provides health services to people in this area of Clacton.

“It will not only mean our clinicians can better support our communities, but will also mean we are better utilising existing NHS buildings, and ensuring our valuable resource is put to the best possible use.

“I am especially excited by this redevelopment as it brings a range of new opportunities to provide services in the future.

“For example, our plans include a space for patients to learn from clinicians about how to better manage any health-related concern they may have.”

“We’ve also included digital points for our patients to have remote consultations or appointments when this is necessary, saving them the need to make unnecessary journeys to hospital.”

Dr Farrukh Shamshad, who runs the Ranworth Surgery, which will oversee the running of the practice, said: “I strongly welcome the progress that is being made to redevelop this site.

“As well as providing a new facility for our patients, I am very pleased to see that there will be a training space for clinicians.

“I believe this will help to recruit staff locally.”

Rita Garnett, chairman of the Frinton Road Patient Participation Group (PPG), said patients have been calling for improved facilities for years.

“It is cramped, dated, no longer fit for purpose and does not have enough consultation rooms,” she said.

“I believe once complete that this new facility will go a long way to address these issues.”

Paul Cross, regional partnership director for NHS Property Services, said he is looking forward to seeing the long-awaited project delivered.

“This redevelopment will provide patients in Clacton with much needed additional and modern general practice space,” he said.

Clacton MP Giles Watling added: “I was pleased to able to visit this facility before lockdown with Dr Garratt and was thrilled at the plans laid before me.

“This will be a fantastic addition for our local residents in this part of the town, offering increased access to services.

“I am excited to see how this project is really progressing now and welcome the approach of adapting existing NHS property into an even more patient friendly environment.”