ANDOVER’S largest surgery is moving inside the town’s hospital as part of a multi-million-pound redevelopment to cope with rising demand, the Advertiser can reveal.

Andover Health Care Centre Medical Practice, in Charlton Road, will transfer to a brand new, purpose-built wing inside Andover War Memorial Hospital.

It comes after health care bosses said the current surgery, which treats 14,000 people, is not “fit for purpose”.

The West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said the existing building would require “significant expenditure” to bring it up to modern day standards.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which owns the land, and the CCG have lodged an application to transform the facility.

The plans state: “The new build will enhance the well-established hospital and the additional capacity will support primary care in Andover to meet some of the demand presented by the increasing population. It will increase opportunities for innovation, help to attract and retain staff and ensure that patients continue to have choice in their primary care provider and the provision of care locally.”

Andover Advertiser: Artist's impression of the new centreArtist's impression of the new centre

The proposed development will be housed in a wing off the main hospital corridor, which currently accommodates facilities management, staff and meeting room spaces. These will be relocated to elsewhere in the hospital building.

The ground floor is planned to house GP-related clinical spaces and staff rooms, and a dental suite will be on the first floor.

A CCG spokesperson said: “The CCG is working closely with Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and local GP practices to provide high quality healthcare services for the people of Andover.

“This application refers to the development of new premises for Andover Health Centre within the hospital to provide GP services in a fit for purpose building. The current site of the health centre is in a poor state and no longer provides suitable accommodation.

“The new premises will benefit the patients by providing extra capacity for more services in the future and a better environment.

“We are at the early stages of planning and there is no fixed timeframe as yet. We will keep patients informed as plans progress.”

Andover Advertiser:

The announcement has been welcomed by civic chiefs, who have said that it will enhance healthcare for the town’s residents.

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Councillor Phil North, said: “It’s fantastic to see that plans are now firmly in motion to improve the Andover War Memorial Hospital and I’m pleased that Hampshire Hospitals has taken this step. The facility is really valued by the local community and I’m sure they’d agree that the health centre is in need of an upgrade.

“Having recently met Alex Whitfield, she talked me through their exciting ideas for the future and it’s great that they are now putting these forward. Of course, the planning committee will take stock and evaluate the application on its merit.”

MP for North West Hampshire Kit Malthouse added: “This is a welcome investment in modern healthcare facilities for Andover and represents yet another enhancement to the much-valued Andover War Memorial Hospital campus.”

The proposal comes after the Advertiser revealed in May last year that the CCG were in discussions to create an urgent treatment centre (UTC) and a new health and wellbeing hub, with the UTC planned to be open in July last year but it announced in April this year that the plans were delayed as no bids for the UTC had been put forward.

The CCG has not made it clear whether the latest plans to move Andover Health Centre will be instead of either of the earlier plans.