Being ill in Thame is not as bad as it used to be ... that’s because now it means residents can pay a visit to their new-look health centre.
For the past year The Rycote Practice and Trinity Health have worked together to redevelop the centre, which now has four new consulting rooms, new reception desks, disability access extra toilets and a new staff room.
The works, which have cost more than £250,000, included thousands of metres of pipes and cable being routed to provide a new heating system and data network.
Charles Chubb of The Rycote Practice, said: “Thank you to staff and patients for putting up with everything from toilets being out of action to reception desks disappearing overnight!
“We are grateful to Paul Wapshare and the construction team for all the work they did overnight and at the weekends to keep disruption to a minimum. It has all been worth it - the results are
fantastic. I am proud to work in the newly redeveloped Thame Health Centre.”
The project, which took 12 months to plan before work started means that the centre’s 15,000 patients will have a facility to see them well into the future.
Residents make 80,000 appointments a year and 10,000 prescriptions are handed out.
Nearly 20,000 phone calls are made by GPs and nurses to patients every year.
Sandra Davidson, chair of Trinity Health Patient Participation Group, praised the scheme.
She said: “It is fantastic that over 15,000 patients registered at the two practices in Thame Health Centre will be able to enjoy healthcare facilities fit for the 21st century.
“We are delighted that such an important facility for Thame was opened by its mayor Peter Lambert.”
Mr Lambert cut the ribbon on the new centre at a special ceremony last week.
After the event patients had a chance to meet staff and talk about their new surroundings, and the enhanced services on offer.
Also at the event was Sue Brook, a patient at the Rycote Practice who attended the original opening back in 1973.
At that ceremony the building was opened by the then-health minister Sir Keith Joseph.
Sue said: “The opening event in 1973 was a very formal affair and was attended by about 50 people.
“Over the years I have watched health services in Thame evolve, and have seen the now senior GPs progress their careers right from when they started as junior doctors.”
Mr Lambert said: “I would like to add my congratulations to the staff and building team for managing to complete a project of this size whilst maintaining two fully operational services throughout.
“Most importantly, on behalf of Trinity Health and The Rycote Practice, I would like to thank all the patients for their patience.
“The fact that you took the noise and dust and disruption in your stride has made it possible for such a large project to be undertaken.
“It is a big achievement and this reflected in some big numbers involved in the redevelopment.”
Dr Weir of Trinity Health added: “It has been a challenge to continue to run a full service while walls have been removed and floors have been ripped up.
“It took longer than we had hoped, but thanks to your help we have managed it.
“We were delighted to see many people join us to celebrate the biggest redevelopment to the health centre in over 15 years.”