Several of Bracknell Forest’s health services will be brought up to date with the creation of a custom-made centre for health, under plans being submitted to Bracknell Forest Council.

Subject to councillors’ approval, a three-storey development will be built next to the existing Skimped Hill Health Centre.

The new premises will house Evergreen Practice and Forest Health Group, as well as maternity services and some children’s, young people’s, and community services.

The aim is for patients and service users to have a much better healthcare experience in the more spacious, brighter, purpose-built facilities.

Staff working in the hub will also benefit from the new environment.

Senior GP Partner at Forest Health Group Jeremy Mellins said: “Like many GP practices nationwide, we in Evergreen Practice and Forest Health Group are working in cramped conditions and our practices are in serious need of expansion in order to be able to serve our growing patient population and to offer a broader range of services.

"This new building will be a huge improvement for patients and staff and will allow us to provide a much better quality service for many years into the future.”

The project is part of a national drive to boost community-based healthcare services, providing funding to bring services together in the same place.

With better local services, the intention is that people can receive treatment more quickly, nearer home, reducing the need for them to go to hospital.

NHS Frimley Place Convenor for Bracknell Forest Nicola Airey said: “The Bracknell Forest Centre for Health will be a major boost for those services that will be housed in it and for their many patients and service users.

“To be able to build next to the existing health centre will allow for a smooth transition for those services moving across and will also allow those services staying put to expand into the newly vacated space in the old building – so it’s a win-win situation.”

Subject to planning approval, it is hoped that building work will begin in July 2024, with completion of the build in early Spring.

Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System (ICS) is a statutory partnership of health and social care organisations working together to improve services for the 800,000 people across East Berkshire, North East Hampshire and Farnham and Surrey Heath.

The ICS includes NHS Trusts, primary care providers, service commissioners, the voluntary sector and local authorities.