Work begins on new Aylsham health centre

Construction has begun on a new health centre that will replace a community hospital in a Norfolk town.

The £1.3m centre is latest phase of work at the St Michael's Care Complex, which will provide a range of services in Aylsham.

St Michael's Hospital, which is nearby, is due to close when the development is at a more advanced stage, NHS Norfolk said.

The health centre building should be completed by mid-2012, it added.

It will have a respiratory clinic, podiatry services and a pharmacy.

Opposition to closure

The care complex will include a care home with nursing, a community centre and a housing with care scheme.

Work on the community centre has already begun and should be completed by January next year, NHS Norfolk said.

Following a consultation in 2007, NHS Norfolk announced plans to close St Michael's Hospital once services based there could be relocated to alternative sites.

The plan had met with local opposition. More than 1,000 residents' letters were given to the then health secretary Alan Johnson.

NHS Norfolk said it had consulted with the community on the health centre and respondents had influenced services to be provided.

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