Plans for a long-awaited extension on the Wantage Health Centre have been approved following huge support from residents and councillors.

The Health Centre is shared by the Newbury Street and Church Street GP practices and for almost a decade staff and patients have been waiting for an extension after a representative from NHS England said that the planning application was imminent in 2012.

The plans for an extension on the Mably Way Health Centre will provide the practices with nine extra consulting and treatment rooms each. There will be a larger joint waiting and reception area in the centre of the building, new patient facilities, new pharmacy and optician units at the front of the building, and more parking.

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In November 2016, the two GP practices at Wantage Health Centre applied for the £4m from NHS England to expand their shared building on Mably Way. However, the funding was declined.

In September 2021, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group approved the funding for the anticipated extension and partial refurbishment of the building and now Vale of White Horse District Council has approved the planning application.

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County Councillor for Wantage and Grove, Jenny Hannaby is “delighted” the health centre has finally been approved and says it will be a “boost for the area”.

Mrs Hannaby said: “We are absolutely delighted for the doctors who have worked very hard and lobbied for the extension to the Health Centre. We need more health services we are a growing town and hopefully it will attract more doctors to our area.”

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She added: “I am sure we will be able to have better facilities and more health service locally. It is much better if people can access service locally and not travel right across Oxfordshire. It will be much better to have it there in one area, it is very exciting news.”

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The long-awaited extension will provide better GP facilities and make the building more accessible for disabled patients.

Ben Mabbett, Vale of White Horse district councillor for Grove said: “The fact that the plans have been approved is absolutely fantastic. It has been a long time coming and I wish it had come forward years ago. The plans in the extension will give it adequate GP facilities for years to come.”

He added: “The extension will not just provide more GP services, but the way they are developing the health centre will make it a more accessible facility.

“Mably Way Health Centre is right in the middle of wantage and Grove, and it will benefit both the communities.”

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