Published date: 17 May 2021

Clacton’s new Kennedy Way Medical Centre officially open to support 12,000 patients

Clacton’s new Kennedy Way Medical Centre officially opened on Monday 17 May 2021.

The centre opened to patients on 4 May 2021, but the official opening has been delayed by two weeks due to Covid restrictions.

Rita Garnett, Chair of Frinton Road Patient Participation Group (PPG) and Vic Graves, Chair of Epping Close PPG formally opened the centre by unravelling a two-metre bow in the reception area.

The new facility provides a long-awaited replacement of the cramped and dated accommodation at the former Epping Close Surgery and Frinton Road Medical Centre and has been welcomed enthusiastically by patients.

Rita Garnett, Chair of the Frinton Road Patient Participation Group (PPG), and her husband, David, were key members of the project group to develop the new centre. She said: “It’s very exciting that Kennedy House is now open and I can’t wait for the official tour of the building on Monday to see how all the plans and discussions we’ve had over the past year have turned into reality.”

David Garnett said: “Local people now have a proper 21st Century medical facility, which gives them a much better patient experience with increased access to services.”

The new centre houses eight consulting rooms, seven treatment rooms, a phlebotomy room, a training space for clinicians and a digital facility allowing patients to have remote consultations without the need to travel.

The interior decoration is a dementia-friendly orange with beach huts painted on the walls of the main Clinical corridor and a silhouette of Clacton Pier in the main waiting area

The car park has 66 spaces allocated to the practice and will also be the site of an innovative social prescribing hub, the first phase of which is expected to be completed in the summer.

Dr Farrukh Shamshad, Partner and General Practitioner for Clacton Community Practices which oversees the running of the Medical Centre, said: “Kennedy Way Medical Centre will be able to support almost 12,000 patients in the area, three thousand more than the two practices it replaces. It also frees up space at the former Epping Close surgery which will be transformed to create an additional four dialysis stations for renal patients. The whole project represents much-needed investment in the health of our local population and I hope that with the additional training facilities for clinicians, it will also help us to recruit more staff locally.”

Dr Ed Garratt, Chief Executive of North East Essex CCG, said: “This is an exciting new facility which will enable us to provide an extension of the health services already offered to people in Clacton. I am particularly pleased with the new space available for patients to learn from clinicians about how to better manage any health conditions they may have. The new social prescribing hub will also help us to collaborate with partner organisations in Clacton to deliver holistic solutions for people whose individual circumstances impact adversely on their health. I would like to thank everyone involved in the project, particularly our patient representatives and the wider local community who engaged with us to ensure the final result would suit not only the patients we have now, but to also meet the needs of patients in the future.”

Jane Taylor, North East Essex CCG’s Senior Estates Development Manager, said: “We have made the best use of an existing NHS building by adapting it into a state-of-the art facility for the people of Clacton. It has been my pleasure to lead the project, working extensively with clinicians and local people to co-design the centre and best ensure it meets their needs and expectations.”

Paul Cross, Regional Partnership Director (East of England), NHS Property Services said: “As owners of Kennedy Way Medical Centre, we are delighted to have been able to support this project alongside our partners, particularly Clacton Community Practices and their patient participation group. We are very pleased that the refurbishment works that have taken place will provide a modern, sustainable home for these two practices, and the right conditions for them to continue delivering excellent patient care to the people of Clacton. We look forward to continuing to work with the practices and local community groups with the future development of a community garden alongside the Medical Centre in the coming months.”

The MP for Clacton, Giles Watling, said: ““Having been involved with these plans from the outset, and watched their development along the way, I am delighted to see them come to fruition today. Primary care has been one of my major campaigns since being elected in 2017. We have had many successes so far and this improvement is the cherry on the cake. But the work doesn’t stop here, there are more services to open and more provisions yet to be made.” 

Take a look inside...

Watch the video for a virtual tour of Kennedy Way Medical Centre and hear from Jane Taylor, North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group.