The recently closed village medical centre has been purchased by the district council in a bid to re-open the facility for local patients.
Following the closure of Mill Stream Medical Centre in North Street car park, Storrington on May 31, Horsham District Council (HDC) has moved quickly in an effort to secure the premises.
In a statement, HDC said it took on the privately owned building to provide ‘good quality and long term medical facilities for residents in the village and the wider area’.
The Mill Stream surgery was closed by NHS England after it claimed that practice partner Dr Joanna Bailey was ‘unable to provide sufficient assurances as to the management of her contract and the protection of her patients’.
Around 4,300 patients were forced to find an alternative health service in surrounding villages and towns.
Since then HDC has been talking with the NHS and doctors from the nearby Glebe Surgery about the possibility of developing a medical health centre which would provide state-of-the-art healthcare facilities for the people of the area and also meet future needs.
Although a relocation of the Glebe surgery would need permission from NHS England, HDC says this purchase presents an exciting opportunity for local residents.
The purchase of the Mill Stream site also provides HDC with access to nearby land it owns jointly with Storrington and Sullington Parish Council which was previously landlocked with access to it controlled by Mill Stream.
District councillor Ray Dawe, Leader of Horsham District Council and local ward member, said: “Local district councillors, HDC officers, the parish council and l have been working to find a solution to the huge problem that was suddenly presented to us in our local community a little over a month ago.
“Acquiring the old Mill Stream site not only gives us the ability to fully control access to land we already own behind it but it also gives us an opportunity along with local doctors to look at the North Street car park area as a whole and see how we could best develop a new medical centre there to serve the current and projected needs of the community.
“We have moved very fast to get past this first step in responding to the emergency situation and we are in discussion with NHS England and the doctors at the Glebe Surgery as to the next action.
“This is a far from simple matter but I am confident that we have taken the right steps to secure excellent future healthcare facilities for people in the Storrington area.”