HEALTH bosses say a new facility which is set to be part of the Manor Street regeneration project will be a “lightning rod” for healthcare.

It is being branded as a Livewell Hub and will see services currently only available in hospital done in the town centre.

The plans include a health facility and pharmacy.

It would mean patients wouldn’t have to travel to Broomfield Hospital for procedures such as blood tests and ultrasounds.

At a Braintree Council cabinet meeting on Monday, Caroline Rassell, of the Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, reassured residents it would not simply be a like-for-like replacement of what is already on offer.

She said: “We recognise the need of being able to provide a much broader range of healthcare professionals and others who look after people’s general health and the benefit of having them co-located in one building.

“We are really lucky that in Braintree we have the opportunity to actually put all of these services into one building in the heart of the town centre.

“I do look in envy at this because if I think elsewhere we haven’t got that opportunity.”

She said the CCG is working with Broomfield Hospital on plans to provide some services currently only on offer at the hospital at the new facility and said it is planned it will serve around 60,000 people.

She said: “We recognise the huge growth that there is in Braintree and we are looking at this being a lightning rod for the future.

“We need to build facilities which don’t just do what they do today - they need to look to the future.

“We have the capacity to ensure there is a wider range of services for the public and this is much more than a replacement of what is already on offer.”