PLANS for a new ‘enhanced’ health centre in Thornbury have been debated by the town council.

The newly formed Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG) announced the proposals, the latest in a series of plans put forward in recent years, earlier this month, which were greeted with mixed reception.

The new facility, delivered as part of the CCG’s 3Rs programme for rehabilitation services, would feature GP services, mental health provision, outpatient primary care services and a new build 70-to-80-bed nursing home, which would include a dedicated “frailty unit” focusing on the elderly community staying out of hospital, with care in their own home and transport services.

Speaking to Thornbury Town Council’s policy and finance committee on Thursday, David Jarrett, South Gloucestershire area director for the CCG, said that redevelopment plans were “the furthest along they have been for years”.

He added that the CCG was taking a “positive and proactive approach”, with all three GP practices in the town having been “actively engaged” and all contributing to discussions on the project.

He continued to explain that £100,000 has been allocated to complete an in-depth business case that would be used to apply for further funding with the three possible funding routes being through NHS Property Services, a private property developer who would then lease the building to the practices, or the practices could take out a loan.

Discussing the project following the presentation, councillors said they were positive about the plans but remained hesitant over their delivery, having been “let down repeatedly” in the past.

Cllr Shirley Holloway said: “A primary community care facility is exactly what Thornbury needs – a new health centre is vital. I just hope the financial procurement works out.”

She added however that the situation with the previously promised care beds in a redeveloped Thornbury Hospital now set to go to Frenchay “did not meet previous expectations”, questioning whether valued groups like the League of Friends of Thornbury Hospital should continue to fundraise if the facility was no longer going to exist.

Cllr Maggie Tyrrell said: “It sounds like a good plan. I don’t really have any problems with it but you can understand our frustration. There may be some scepticism but it is what we want at the end of the day.”

Taking a more critical stance, Cllr Clive Parkinson said: “This is no different to the iterations over the past 14 years. One plan after another has fallen down. The latest iteration is just the latest to have failed.”

It was also pointed out by Cllr Claire Fardell that there would be two care homes almost side-by-side in the town, with the proposed building on the hospital site in close proximity to Beech House.