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Planning system helps fund GP surgery expansion

Nearly £90,000, secured from developers by South Cambridgeshire District Council, has been passed to the NHS to help fund an expansion of a GP surgery.

The money has been transferred to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to contribute towards an extension of Over Surgery on Drings Close. A further £40,000 is to follow in future.

The funding was negotiated by the District Council as part of the planning permissions issued for five housing developments within Over Surgery's practice boundary. When developers build new homes that will have a significant impact on an area or community, they are asked to contribute funding to local services like a GP surgery expansion through what is known as a Section 106 agreement.

The extension will create three new consultant / examination rooms to deliver the primary care service for patients already living within the catchment area of the surgery, as well as provide spaces for new residents arriving in future. It will also provide a greater range of services with more integration for both community and social care services. The expansion will also mean the practice has additional space to accommodate student nurses and GPs, having recently been accredited as a training practice.

The ambition that the expanded Over GP Surgery will be able to offer additional health services in future, including physiotherapy, midwives, minor surgery for lumps and bumps, health checks and stop smoking sessions.

Planning permission for the extension of existing Doctors' Surgery and associated works was granted by the District Council in June 2021.

Cllr Bill Handley, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Communities and one of the District Councillors for Over, said: “Over has had a number of new developments in recent years and this expansion will mean that the medical services in the village can cope with the extra patients and also offer access to a wider range of healthcare services as well as providing an excellent training practice for the NHS. It’s a good example of the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service mitigating the cumulative impact of several developments in the village and directly contributing to improvements that benefit both existing and new residents. This is a very welcome boost to our community”

Laura Byton, Practice Manager at Over Surgery said "We are very excited to get started with the extension. This will enable us to expand and develop in line with the growth of the village population. We are very grateful for the funding received from South Cambridgeshire District Council and the support from the CCG and NHSE".

Jessica Bawden, Director of Primary Care at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG, said “We are pleased the Section 106 agreement secured from local housing developments are contributing to the extension at Over Surgery. We are committed to ensuring local GP practice services meet the local needs of their communities.”