A landmark moment in the redevelopment of a Wimbledon hospital was marked by health bosses yesterday in a special ceremony where plans for a similar development in the middle of Mitcham were revealed.
Visitors were delighted to be given a tour around the site in Kingston Road, Wimbledon Chase, to see for themselves the progress of on-going building work at the Nelson Local Care Centre, on the site of the former Nelson Hospital.
The development on Kingston Road.
The event, on Tuesday, July 8, saw Dr Howard Freeman MBE, chairman of Merton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and Eleanor Brown, Merton CCG chief officer, mark the completion of the external build by laying the final slab on the roof.
And it was revealed a similar health-related development is being planned for central Mitcham.
Two sites are being considered for the development, and a business plan will be submitted in July next year.
Ms Brown said: "There will be a health facility in Mitcham based on the model of care that is right for residents there.
"Mitcham has different health challenges."
Speaking at the event, known as a topping out ceremony, Dr Freeman said: "This building will be open next spring, it will be open on time.
"We are developing better healthcare closer to home for Merton residents."
Ms Brown said: "It has been a long time coming.
"I am really pleased to see it.
"I saw it when it was a shell in December or January - it has been transformed.
"Now I can imagine patients in here."
How the site looked a couple of months ago.
Two GP practices will move into the Nelson Hospital site when it is scheduled to open next spring - Cannon Hill Lane Medical Practice and the Church Lane Practice.
Dr Graham Mason from Cannon Hill Lane said: "It is fantastic, the challenge is to make it work."
It will house a range of services including outpatient appointments, minor surgery and physiotherapy.
The next stages of the project include finalising the healthcare service providers who will operate in the centre, finishing interior construction and fitting out so it will be ready to open in spring 2015.
The Nelson Local Care Centre is being funded through a NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust, a Private Public Partnership which has been developed with South London Health Partnerships Ltd.