A NEW GP super-surgery has opened in Salisbury, ready to meet the needs of 17,000 patients.

Salisbury Medical Practice was formally opened on Friday by the two eldest patients from the Grove House and New Street practices, which have combined to create the new organisation.

Nellie Jay, 106 and Archie Campbell-Murdoch, 102, cut the tape at the practice’s new building which is in Fountain Way on the Old Manor Hospital site and incorporates the former hospital ballroom.

Speaking to a large audience in the waiting room, senior partner Dr Robert Hewetson said the £5m project had involved many people and meetings since 2002 and those involved felt “much older and wiser”.

He said: “This development will provide facilities compatible with a high standard of primary care fit for the 21st century.” It would allow doctors to work with other health professionals and provide equal access for all, he said.

The practice will have 11 doctors until next month when it will be joined by another three from the Bemerton Heath Surgery, which is also going to be part of the new set-up.

It will be open from 8am to 8pm from Monday to Saturday, and at weekends doctors will be available over the telephone for four hours each day.

The Tanday Pharmacy next door will also be open from 8am to 8pm on weekdays. The new building has 20 consulting rooms for the GPs and will be home to chiropractors, chiropodists, St Ann’s Dental Practice and dietetics services.

There are also two theatres where minor operations can be carried out by doctors or visiting hospital staff. These include vasectomies, carpal tunnel repairs and some surgery for skin cancer. Dr Hewetson said a hernia service is also an ambition.

Sharon Burgess, practice business development manager, said patient groups and Citizens Advice would also be invited to use the building and a “bite-sized café” would be opening in the waiting area. Branch surgeries would be maintained at Bishopdown and Bemerton Heath, she added. She said: “It’s wonderful to be in the building. It is warm and inviting; there is more space and patient feedback has been fantastic.”