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Berrington builds care centres

Berrington’s medical prop- erty fund is on track to build five NHS primary care centres this year, including retail and pharmacy units alongside GP consulting rooms.

The fund has accrued 140m since its launch in November 2003 and is due to spend 120m this year on the construction of the brand new primary care centres followed by further expenditure in 2006 with 15 new centres and 150 in 2007.

The fund has just comp-leted the building of a medical centre at Bonnyrigg in Mid- Lothian, Scotland. This will accommodate three local GP practices and a minor operations clinic.

The fund has also been working with architects Hun-ters to develop a fast-track primary care centre plan based on research into patients’ needs. The fast-track centres will aim to provide phar-macies and other complementary services to patients such as community spaces and cash machines alongside calm spaces and branches of high-street retailers such as Tescos and Starbucks.

The fund takes advantage of demographic changes among GPs, who are now kee-ner to lease their premises, and the strategic NHS need for the supply of those premises.

Medical adviser to the fund Dr Michael Shillingford says: “We are enhancing patients’ experience of healthcare in the NHS and providing for the needs of a new generation of general practitioners. Patients will no longer need to be referred three times to different buildings as our centres will take care of more of their needs in one place.”

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