A short-of-space GP practice in Norfolk has been given permission to expand into a new Portakabin after plans for a new primary care hub was dropped.
Planning permission was granted for the two temporary mobile units at the Attleborough Surgery, which will provide six additional clinical rooms and some more admin space.
The practice, located across two sites, has been struggling to accommodate its staff caring for 19,000 patients.
Practice Manager Lucy McLean told the Eastern Daily Press that there had been a ‘pressing need’ to expand their facilities with increased demand and a growing local population.
The practice’s registered list is set to increase due to a housing development in the town with 4,000 new homes expected in the coming years.
But she added they would continue to work with the integrated care system to develop a longer term solution for primary care in the town.
Approval for the temporary addition – which will connect to the main building at the practices Station Road site – was granted by Breckland District Council.
The new rooms are expected to open in late Autumn and there will be some disruption as the mobile units are installed, the practice confirmed on its website.
In July it was reported that health bosses in Norfolk had been forced to scale back plans for five new primary care hubs across the county.
A £47 million business case had been submitted for the hubs due to be built in Norwich, Rackheath, Attleborough King’s Lynn and Gorleston to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for primary care.
But according to local press, NHS England did not agree and the proposal was scaled back to two new hubs and two extensions to existing sites.
At a local meeting, committee members expressed disappointment that Attleborough had been shelved given it the expected population growth but heard plans could be revisited at a later date.
In June the RCGP warned that four in ten GP premises were unfit for purpose.
A survey highlighted that of those nearly a third (32%) said their premises have poor disabled access, and 25% said the building had water leakage, mould, or mildew. And 88% said there was an insufficient number of consulting rooms.
A report from the RCGP concluded that that ‘the current state of physical and digital infrastructure within general practice in England makes it difficult for practices to deliver the basic level of care’.