A multi-million pound medical centre which has been mostly empty since it was built in July 2012 is now set to be regularly used.
The state-of-the-art Ongar War Memorial Medical Centre in Fyfield Road, Ongar cost £4.85m to produce but will only see full time use start this summer.
Banson’s Lane GP Practice in the town has agreed a lease with NHS Property Services which owns the building and will begin running services from June 9.
The two-year delay has been attributed to problems installing telecom cables as well as the time taken to negotiate the lease.
Martin Royal, Regional Director of NHS Property Services in the Midlands and East, said: “The people of Ongar have waited a long time to see this happen and I’m sure will be very pleased that they will soon be able to access a range of high quality services in this state-of-the-art medical facility.
“We and our NHS partners have worked very hard to resolve the historical issues with the centre and look forward to seeing it used for many years to come.”
Dr Hugh Taylor, of Banson’s Lane GP Practice, said: “We are delighted to have finally resolved the outstanding issues so that we can make a fresh start on a historic site.
“We look forward to delivering first class family health care from these excellent premises, but would just ask our patients to bear with us while we settle into a very new environment.”
Patients at the Banson’s lane practice will be receive a letter in the next week with the new contact details for their GP.
Andrew Pike, Director, NHS England Essex, said: We regret this project has taken so long to complete but it has been the Area Team’s priority to ensure we get the right services in place.”
Since December blood testing, on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, and retinal screening, on the first Friday of every month, has been available at the site.
The centre was built to replace the War Memorial Hospital of the same site which was found not fit for purpose in 2010.