A NEW £2.8m medical centre has opened in Monkseaton to cope with patient numbers doubling and an ageing population.
When Monkseaton Medical Centre first opened in 1985, it was designed to handle between six and seven thousand patients.
But ten years ago the case was made for an expanded facility to cope with increasing demand.
This has finally has resulted in the opening of the new centre in Cauldwell Avenue, which has the capacity to handle up to 14,000 patients.
National statistics predict the number of over 55s in North Tyneside will increase by 25 per cent over the next 20 years.
GP Nick Lawson said: “The biggest challenge was convincing stakeholders in the first place that there was a case for a new facility, which involved lobbying everyone from patients and the Primary Care Trust to local councillors and MPs.
“Once we got the financial go-ahead, we had to select specialist developers.
“With the help of the practice partners and invaluable assistance of local developer Ian White and former Primary Care Trust CEO Richard Mayland, we selected national firm Medicx who helped secure funds.
“This was all quite a learning curve for a bunch of doctors.”
The medical team appointed Tyneside firm MRM Architectural Services to oversee the construction as well as the eventual logistics and facilities management of moving a fully functioning medical centre with the least inconvenience to patients and staff.