A MAJOR new medical centre serving 20,000 patients is set to be created in the heart of Oxford city centre.

The Cornmarket clinic would combine the King Edward Street Medical Practice, as well as both 27 and 28 Beaumont Street Medical Practices – if a planning application to Oxford City Council is approved.

Forming part of the £36m Jesus College redevelopment of Northgate House, it would include a ground floor entrance from Market Street, with 27 consulting and treatment rooms in the basement and administration on the first floor.

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The application to change the use of the space from retail has been filed as a joint venture by Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Jesus College, which owns the site.

Work began last year on demolishing Northgate House to build a new student accommodation and shops block.

A design and access statement submitted with the application said there was currently no large health facility in the city centre, adding: "This new facility, located just over 150m from Carfax, is required to improve access to primary care and other integrated healthcare services for 20,000 patients."

Oxford Mail:

Entrance from Market Street. Picture: MICA architects

It said the three current GP surgeries were too small, with no opportunity to expand as they were in period properties. The application described the new clinic as 'truly transformative' enabling 8am to 8pm weekday, and extended weekend appointments, with an estimated 350 patients and staff visiting the practice daily.

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Included in the catchment area is Carfax ward, one of the most deprived areas in England.

The application said there was an 'urgent need' to invest in centrally located services to reduce health inequalities for the ward’s 6,500 residents.

As well as creating a purpose-built space for the three GP practices, it would also allow room for other services such as mental health workers, physiotherapists, paramedics and clinical pharmacists. The central location would be an opportunity to serve the city's workers who don't live in Oxford, as well as visiting tourists.

Oxford Mail:

View along Cornmarket Street. Picture: MICA architects

It went on to say the new medical centre could be ready by autumn 2021 and was an 'unparalleled opportunity' for the local authority and the NHS, given the lack of alternatives in central Oxford.

The proposals added: "All three practices are excited about working closely with the College to deliver this brand-new ‘state-of-the-art’ health centre.

"The application site is considered to be the only suitable premises which are appropriate in location, size and financial viability."

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A College spokesperson said: “In line with local planning authority processes, a planning application has been lodged with Oxford City Council following interest from a group of GPs to lease space in the College’s Northgate development. Further agreements regarding occupation are yet to be reached but updates will be provided as and when available.”

The CCG was contacted but was unable to respond by deadline.

To see the plans in full visit oxford.gov.uk and search for application 20/01468/FUL.