Video: Bigger and better award-winning GP surgery opens in Herstmonceux

A £1million doctors’ surgery has opened its doors to the public in Herstmonceux after 14 months of development work.

The Herstmonceux Intergrative Health Centre, in Hailsham Road, will care for more than 5,000 patients in the area - an increase of 1,800 on its former premises.

New health centre, Herstmonceux. Dr John Simmons.

New health centre, Herstmonceux. Dr John Simmons.

The new practice is 500 square metres in size and boasts five consulting rooms and a separate minor surgery suite.

Staff had been working in the smallest practice in the county at 53 square metres but it was unable to cope with demand for doctors and nurse appointments and a bigger practice was sought.

Now the new centre’s doors are open to the public and an open day was held at the practice last week so people could take a peek at the new look centre.

Dr John Simmons, from the surgery, said: “It is absolutely wonderful. The staff are really happy here.

“There are lots of windows to create the right amount of natural light to create a sense of calm and well being.

“It is about wellness and not about illness and disease. We wanted it to be calm and it is incredible to have achieved that. To have patients coming in and noticing is incredible.”

The health centre also has training facilities for medical students from Brighton.

The building has a grass roof which helps it blend into its environment and the health centre has already won awards for its sustainable building design.

To reduce its carbon footprint, the building’s heating and hot water is provided by a biomass boiler and there is an underfloor heating system.

Sewage is treated in a biodigester with clean water as a byproduct and rain water is collected into a pond for wildlife.

Staff room furniture, filing cabinets, office chairs and lockers were recycled furniture from the 2012 Olympics and Para Olympics.

The new centre will offer conventional medical approaches along with integrating evidence-based complementary and alternative approaches to support individual health needs and goals, including established National Health Service acupuncture.

Work on the new centre began in September 2012 after village support and fundraising.

Plans for the centre go back as far as 2009 when proposals to create the environmentally friendly GP practice were first mooted.