Detailed plans for a new purpose-built medical centre in Burnham Market have been submitted to West Norfolk Council.

The new two-storey Burnham’s Surgery is proposed on land off Joan Shorts Lane, off Creake Road, to replace the existing surgery, half a mile away in Church Walk.

A report supporting the application said the existing surgery, built around 30 years ago, was too small, suffered “functional problems” with its layout and failed to comply infection control requirements and disability laws.

“The existing site is unsuitable for refurbishment and expansion, and the current size of the building severely limits the doctors’ ability to provide a full range of primary care services,” the report said.

“Sustainable practices are critical to the survival of primary care in rural areas. While Burnham Market is itself relatively affluent, the Burnham’s Surgery serves a population which is geographically and socially diverse and isolated, with its nearest acute services some 25 miles and almost 50 minutes’ drive away.

“In short, the current building is no longer fit for purpose and severely constrains the ambitions of the doctors and patients to provide the highest quality of clinical care whilst offering the widest possible range of services.”

The new surgery would include a dementia suite, space for medical training, a phlebotomy area and dispensary.

Providing modern expanded facilities in the village has been an NHS priority for “several years” with funding “allocated and ring fenced” in preparation for a viable scheme being developed, the report said.

“The owners of the new surgery will be a charity specifically incorporated for this purpose. The charity will fund space in addition to the core NHS requirement to provide additional services for the local community,” the report goes on. 

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