Remarks at a landmark moment in the re-development of a Wimbledon hospital have led to a promise to consult residents over a similar facility proposed for Mitcham.
A topping out ceremony on Tuesday, July 8, at the former Nelson Hospital site in Kingston Road, Wimbledon, was attended by Dr Howard Freeman MBE, chairman of Merton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and Eleanor Brown, Merton CCG chief officer, who marked the completion of the external build by laying the final slab on the roof.
At the event, speaking about plans for a similar facility in Mitcham, 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."
After reading the story on wimbledonguardian.co.uk a community group concerned about healthcare in Mitcham contacted this newspaper to say it has tried in vain for years to organise a meeting with health bosses.
Tony Burton, from the Mitcham Cricket Green Community and Heritage group, said he has tried to engage with successive healthcare groups, even as long ago as 2012 before the Merton CCG was formed, but to no avail.
Shortly after the paper put his request to the Merton CCG it agreed to meet with the group to discuss plans for a development in central Mitcham, which is still in the early stages.
A plan is not expected to be submitted until July next year.
Mr Burton said: "We have been trying to get involved in consultations about where it should be.
"There are four sites in most people's minds - Wilson Hospital, Raleigh Gardens, Birches Close and Sibthorpe Road Car Park.
"We have been trying to talk to them for the last two years."
A Merton CCG spokesman said last Thursday it had now approached the group 'to discuss where we are and how they would like to be involved.'
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.