Plans for a second GP practice in Melton Mowbray have taken a step closer, with NHS officials agreeing to draw up plans in order to help with growing demand in the town.
Last week, through the Strategic Commissioning Group, the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care Board (ICB) formally committed to work with Melton Borough Council to explore the opportunity to develop a second “much needed” GP surgery in the town.
The current surgery, Latham House currently has more than 36,000 registered patients and is one of the largest practices in the country in terms of registered patients.
However, proposals to build more than 6,000 new homes in the area mean that more doctors will be needed.
At their recent meeting, Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care Board (IBC) formally committed to exploring the options for the location of a second surgery, after acknowledging that Latham House had limited scope for expansion.
A second surgery could be based in a new health and leisure complex the council is considering building as part of wider plans to improve the town’s two ageing leisure centres.
The potential costs of the scheme are to be worked out over the coming months with both the council and the NHS considering a business case in spring next year.
Cllr Joe Orson, Leader of Melton Borough Council called the development “fantastic news” for the town.
“The formal commitment from the ICB is fantastic news for Melton and moves us one step closer to a much needed new GP surgery for our community,” he said.
“There is still a long way to go but we are delighted to be able to collaborate with both our partners at the ICB, and our MP, to examine how we can realistically deliver our shared aspirations.
“Raising the funding to make the investment required is not going to be easy, but we will leave no stone unturned and the commitment from the ICB allows us to strategically plan together as we move forward.”
Alicia Kearns, MP for Rutland and Melton said: “We are on the road to the healthcare residents of Melton need and deserve. There’s still a way to go, but this is the news our town has been waiting for and that Joe and I promised we’d deliver and I look forward to continuing to work with Melton Borough Council and the ICB.”