JUST two months after health secretary Matt Hancock came to Devizes to pledge the Government’s support for a new £10 million health centre the start date has again been pushed back.

Market Lavington GP Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, chairman of the Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, told a meeting of Devizes Area Board that the centre in Marshall Road will now not be completed until 2022.

But in November when Mr Hancock visited the site with the then Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate Danny Kruger he said work would start this autumn and the doors would open by September 2021.

Area board chairman Simon Jacobs said: “It was disappointing to hear that the start date has once again been delayed.

“But it seems there is yet another hurdle it has to jump before the money is finally signed off.

“The scheme has been moving at a glacial pace but we were reassured that it is still going to happen.”

Mr Kruger said yesterday: “I am very concerned to hear that the NHS business case process is taking longer than originally expected.

“I have therefore written to the secretary of state to ask that every effort is made to ensure that the business case is approved as soon as possible, so that building work can begin and the new centre open as soon as possible.”

But Sue Buxton of Devizes Labour party is fed up with the waiting which has gone on since 2012.

She said: “When we campaigned and organized a petition in Devizes in the early part of 2012 to get a Minor Injuries Unit for Devizes, which had been available before the part closure of Devizes Community Hospital years previously, we were told later in the year, by the then Wiltshire CCG that it was hoped that Devizes would be getting more than that, and we were first told of the proposed Urgent Care Centre.

“Since then Claire Perry announced the opening of this centre, at least two if not three times. So when I saw it being promised by Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, photographed with Danny Kruger, I was in agreement with Margaret Taylor, who was reported as saying, “I will believe it when I see it”.

“Having seen Danny Kruger speak at various local hustings before the General Election, I know that he is a great believer in the community supporting itself. He might like to know that the original Devizes Cottage Hospital was part funded by public subscription, including monies raised by Devizes Carnival.”

She is concerned that money made from selling off health buildings such as Devizes Clinic in New Park Street went into a central pot rather than being used locally and fears the same will happen if Devizes community hospital is sold after the new centre is built.

A spokesman for Wiltshire CCG, which now calls the project and integrated care centre, said: “Construction will start in 2021 with completion planned for 2022.

“We are developing the business cases and leading the project in partnership with NHSPS. Local GPs and other service providers, along with service users and patient groups have been involved with the plans to ensure they meet the needs of the local community.

“The proposed site for the new purpose built, modern, integrated care centre is Marshall Road in Devizes. The Outline Business Case has been submitted and development of the full business case will start in early 2020. Services in the new ICC will include urgent and planned care, mental health, antenatal and postnatal maternity care dental.

“Funding for the redevelopment will be secured through the business case process and subject to approval NHS Property Services will develop the building.”

Former Devizes MP Claire Perry was pictured with Dr Sandford-Hill at the Marshall Road site after announcing she would not stand in December’s General Election and claimed getting the health centre was one of her greatest achievements while in office.

In 2017 she posed with then health secretary Jeremy Hunt and said: “After so many years of local campaigning, our Devizes Urgent Care Centre plans are making great progress and this endorsement by the Secretary of State for Health is really valuable.”