Breaking: GP surgeries will not return to Marlborough House

The fire at Marlborough House, St Leonards, in 2013
The fire at Marlborough House, St Leonards, in 2013

The two GP surgeries and pharmacy will not be returning to Marlborough House when it eventually reopens.

The Carisbrooke and Warrior Square surgeries and Warrior Pharmacy moved to what was thought to be temporary sites after the fire in July, 2013.

But due to consistent delays and concerns over the building’s safety, the surgeries and pharmacy will be looking for permanent accommodation.

Project manager Mike Edwards said: “The initial expectations were of a likely short term relocation requirement, but as time has progressed and problems with reinstatement have come to light, timescales have inexorably lengthened with estimates of completion dates having been repeatedly extended and unmet.

“There have been long delays with commencement of reinstatement works and there remains a major issue with regards to the development of extensive mould growth within the building.

“Whilst this may have been temporarily alleviated by stripping off most but not all of the internal fixtures and fittings, there is, in our view, a very real risk that this could become a recurrent issue once the building is reoccupied.

“We have not been able to obtain an enforceable guarantee for the proposed works to mitigate this risk.

“Consequently the GP surgeries and pharmacy have taken the view that the potential risk to staff, patients visitors and clients is such that they will need to seek permanent relocation elsewhere.”

Marlborough House suffered extensive water damage as more than 50 firefighters battled to contain the blaze and prevent it spreading to further properties.

The building was due to have all refurbishment work completed within a year after the blaze, which started on the sixth floor.

The sheltered housing accommodation was also home to 40 disabled and elderly residents who also had to find new homes.

There still seems to be no sign of when Marlborough House will reopen.

Mr Edwards said the Partners of the surgeries and directors of the pharmacy wish to thank Hastings Borough Council for its rapid response to the fire, in particular the efforts of the late Jeremy Birch.

He said they look forward to working with the council to find a permanent home in St Leonards and that the search has already begun.

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