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Looking after their local community

Tom O'Leary Nov 11
Looking after their local community
The North Avon Medical Centre’s new premises are located next door to its previous earthquake damaged facility.

North Avon Medical Centre has just moved to brand new premises located right next door to its previous earthquake damaged facility.

As part of the project the North Avon Pharmacy has moved into the building.

The old building will be demolished to make way for a new car park.

“We see this as good news for the community, which has lost so much through the earthquakes. Having been part of the Richmond community for so long we are pleased to make this contribution to its revival,” says Dr Mur ray Smith.

The North Avon Medical Centre has been operating in Richmond, Christchurch, for over 60 years and was on the previous site since the late 1970s.

The practice cares for around 5000 patients covering a wide area in Christchurch.

Dr Smith says that the North Avon Medical Centre has always been a family oriented medical centre committed to providing the highest standards of care to the local community.

The centre offers three doctors: Dr Hillary Gray, who has been at the centre since 2010, Dr Oliver Setchell, who has recently taken over from long serving doctor John Hudson, who has retired, and Dr Smith, who has been at North Avon Medical Centre for 25 years.

All general practitioner partners are vocationally trained in General Practice and Fellows of the Royal College of General Practice.

Doctors can provide home visits to patients who live in the practice area where this is needed.

“While in most cases a visit to the surgery is preferable and provides access to the facilities of the centre, we understand that sometimes people may be too unwell to come in,” says Dr Smith.

North Avon Medical Centre is a Pegasus practice and Dr Smith says that through this membership it provides a range of additional population health services.

It also has a close relationship with district nursing services and nursing specialist services. North Avon Medical Centre provides full nursing services and the practice has an onsite counsellor who works on a Thursday afternoon to provide free brief intervention counselling.

Other services include weight management programmes, sleep studies, maternity care, travel medicine, chronic disease management, accident care and chronic wound care and resthome and hospital care.

B4 School checks is another service offered to all four-year-old children who were born after August 1, 2004.

Dr Smith says that these checks are designed to identify any potential health, behaviour or learning issues that a child may have and then work along-side the family to enable the child to be as best prepared for school as possible.

The practice has a full range of testing and treatment equipment including an ECG, defibrillator, liquid nitrogen, minor surgical equipment and has a specialist area of sleep testing.

Dr Smith says that the practice operates as a team and has a strong commitment to providing high quality personal primary care.

He says that the move to the new premises was made with the least disruption to patients as possible and that the practice is now looking forward to the future.

“We are excited by this move and the opportunities it provides for ourselves and the wider Richmond community.”

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