A REVAMPED health centre has been given the seal of approval.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley gave the new-look Nelson Health Centre in North Shields the thumbs-up while conducting its official opening ceremony.
Mr Lansley said: “Patients in North Shields will receive real benefits from the new and updated facilities at Nelson Health Centre.
“Thanks to the new facilities, the practice has been able to extend services for patients and can now carry out minor surgery, reducing unnecessary hospital admissions.
“I am glad to see for myself how the NHS, including doctors, nurses and other professionals, are working together to further improve local services for patients.”
The bill for the centre’s £2.6m revamp was picked up by North Tyneside Primary Care Trust.
Patients at the Nelson Medical Group and Jubilee Park Surgery GP practices are now treated at the Cecil Street centre.
It also includes a pharmacy and office space for other community health staff including district nurses, health visitors and school nurses.
The two practices moved into temporary accommodation on the site’s car park in September while the renovations was carried out.
During the visit, Mr Lansley also met with clinical leaders involved in the NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group.
Dr John Matthews, GP co-chairman of the group, said: “Avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions and improving the care of people in the borough with long-term conditions are some of the main priorities for North Tyneside.
“While health services in North Tyneside receive consistently good quality ratings for the services they provide, we still rely far too much on hospital-based care, and GP-led commissioners are in a good place to change this.”