UNCERTAINTY over the opening of a new health centre in Delph has ended after the final works to connect vital IT and telephone links were completed and the surgery opened its doors.
A team of workmen connected up the lines to the Delph Surgery in Gartside Street, which has been empty since being completed in July waiting for the work to be carried out.
And the multi-million pound surgery was finally in operation at the start of this month to offer support to 5,000 patients in Delph and surrounding villages.
Problems, highlighted at a Saddleworth and Lees District Partnership (DP) meeting last month, centered round the installation of communication links by BT, which was initially scheduled for January 2015.
That would have meant thousands of patients living in outlying villages facing a trek, with infrequent buses services, to Saddleworth Medical Practice’s Smithy Lane surgery in Uppermill.
But the communications company installed a temporary cable in October ahead of a letter from the DP expressing concerns about delays.
Then engineers connected up the main lines at the start of November to enable the centre to open at last.
A BT spokesman confirmed: “Openreach engineers have put the final piece of the jigsaw in place.
“Oldham Council, Openreach and the NHS have worked closely together to make sure the people in Delph and the surrounding countryside can have the medical services they have all worked so hard to build.
“We would like to thank the patients for their patience,” he added.
Delpher Gilbert Symes, echoing the sentiments of villagers, said: “I think it’s smashing the surgery can now finally open.”
Val Sedgwick, the DP’s chair, took expert advice from OMBC whose officials said there were no specific restrictions that applied to the Gartside Street closure while BT completed their work.