Grocontinental chairman, Ray Grocott, has built a new £1 million state-of-the-art medical centre to save his local GP practice.
He acted after the surgery in the village was threatened with closure.
The new practice was officially opened this week by the village’s recently-retired GP, Dr Guy Carter, whose home accommodates the current surgery.
Speaking at the opening about his decision to fund the new surgery, Ray said:
‘The real reason for doing this was when I heard about Dr Carter retiring. He was the last of a line of doctors who ran a great medical practice in Prees. So when I heard, I thought he would not want to leave his house, so the other option was to find another place for the practice or close it. If I didn’t do something, it would go.
‘We’re a rural area with hardly any public transport and local people were facing long journeys to see a doctor.
‘My family and I have had wonderful treatment from the village practice, we’ve lived in the area all our lives and I just couldn’t stand by and see us lose our doctors’ surgery. I am so glad to be able to put something back into the community.’
The centre will be run by Wem and Prees Medical Practice. Lead GP, Jim Bartlett, said:
‘It is a wonderful building. We are all stunned. I am almost lost for words.
‘We have followed the surgery’s progress all the way through so it is great to be in the final finished building. The surgery we had before was small and we had outgrown it.
‘Funding was an issue until our fairy godmother Ray Grocott came along. The practice now has a secure, long-term future thanks to the vision and generosity of Ray. Without his enthusiasm, drive and a bit of dosh this would have been just a dream for us.
‘We are so grateful and admire his determination to help our patients.’
The Grocott Medical Centre will be open for business on Monday 27th April. The state-of-the-art building includes consulting rooms, nursing space, treatment areas, dispensary, waiting room and offices. There is also space to accommodate future growth of the practice. The Grocott Family Charitable Trust will lease the building to the NHS for a nominal rent for the next 15 years.