Health centre gets go ahead for major revamp

Earlston health centre at Kidgate.
Earlston health centre at Kidgate.

Earlston Health Centre is set for a major refurbishment and extension after the go-ahead was given by planners last week.

Proposals submitted to Scottish Borders Council planners by Galashiels-based Camerons Architects for improvements to the existing practice have been approved and a contract for the works is expected to be awarded by NHS Borders shortly.

The extension, which will be built onto the end of the existing consulting rooms area, will house two new rooms comprising one consulting room and one office or potential meeting room.

It will bring the total number of consulting rooms within the Kidgate practice up to four.

Other improvements involve other internal alterations including upgrades to the current podiatry area to provide better ventilation, amendments to the children’s play area and the creation of new windows in the existing consulting rooms which will be affected by the extension.

The entrance to the building will remain unchanged, as will the community room, clinical and district nursing areas, and the car park.

It has also been confirmed that the GP and other healthcare services will remain in situ and will continue with daily clinics throughout the refurbishments, so the construction works, once they start, will be phased to maintain these services.

However, the practice has confirmed that despite the extension and the creation of the new consulting room, staff numbers will not increase.

The design for the revamp of the four-GP medical practice, which serves the areas surrounding Earlston, Lauder, Melrose, St Boswells, Newtown St Boswells, Gattonside and Gordon, involved input from service users and other stakeholders after a review was carried out last year.