PEOPLE in Calne got the chance to see plans for a new medical centre for the town at a pre-planning exhibition yesterday (February 11).

Proposals for the modern building will create more space for patients of Patford House Partnership went on display at the event after the practice submitted a planning application with its development partners.

A resident of Calne Steve Drewett, aged 71, said: "It's about time this is happening about two years ago you could get an appointment within 48 hours now it can take 4 to 6 weeks. My wife has just tried to get an appointment and cant get one till March. Frome has a population of around 47,000 and has a medical surgery we have 20,000 and have nothing."

His wife Benita Drewett, aged 70, added: "The plans are just amazing but the concern is they are struggling to get Doctors to fill the positions. But there will be a minor surgery in there and a pharmacy on site with all the facilities on the ground floor. "

The scheme will replace Patford House Surgery, which has outgrown its current premises.The proposed location will be on Silver Street towards the southern edge of Calne.

Town Councillor, Ian Thorne said: "The facilities are a huge improvement and it's a welcome facility. But we have to make sure there is access on foot and with the buses. But also that the impact on neighbours is as low as possible and they're kept informed."

Kathryn MacDermid, aged 24, who is on the Patient Participation Group said: "It's a bigger surgery with more facilities which will be good so I won't have to go to other surgeries to get treatment. Hopefully there will be more appointments as the service can be shocking. I rang lots last week speak to someone and it took ages. But the problem is not really location more on services."

If the plans are approved, it’s expected that construction will start later this year and complete in around 12 to 18 months.

Emmy Butcher, the managing partner of Patford House Surgery said: "It will be an excellent move forward and open up a lot of opportunities for care. It will improve access across Wiltshire this will benefit all of Calne.

"This has been in the pipeline for a long time and the proposals are twice the size of the other surgery so we have outgrown it so this will be a provision for expansion of the town. We are working with the community to make it happen."

Jonathan Webb, senior development manager at Assura said: “We’re really pleased to see the fantastic turnout in Calne, it’s always invaluable to receive feedback from the local community.

"We will reflect on and report back the key themes and outcomes formally in due course, but I can say that there’s been a huge amount of positivity and excitement coming from the many conversations held today. Community engagement is key to all development projects and this is an early chance for people to view the detailed plans and understand the associated benefits.”