Surgical spirit should be in plentiful supply when a new GP practice moves into a famous former pub in Church.
The Dill Hall surgery, run by Dr PK Joseph, is moving from its current Dill Hall Lane premises this weekend, and re-opening on Church Street.
The building used to be the Edwardian Queens Hotel, which closed down a few years ago and has been converted over the last 16 months into a modern surgery. Many of the original features of the pub, which was very popular in its day, have been retained.
Dr Joseph opened the Dill Hall Lane surgery over a quarter of a century ago, but it has rapidly expanded. He now employs around eight staff and has almost 3,000 patients on his books.
He explained: "Since I opened my single-handed surgery 26 years ago I built up a substantial list which has outgrown the previous premises. I found it difficult to provide good services from such small premises. On some mornings surgery was choc-a-bloc and even standing room would be difficult. That’s the main reason for the move.
"The new building is a lot more suitable and spacious and all the services can be provided on the ground floor. That is very convenient for the patients and also better of course for disabled people and easier to get into. Parking is also a lot better than it is at the Dill Hall Lane surgery."
The former Queens Hotel, built in 1903, is within a Hyndburn Council regeneration area and has been derelict since the previous owner died.
Dr Joseph said: "It was a very popular pub and it used to have a function room upstairs. Quite a number of people got married there and had different functions there. I’ve kept all the original features of the building and there’s a beautiful vestibule door and a wide staircase in old character."
The public area will be on the ground floor, with the first floor used for practice administration, storage, a reading room and library.
Patients have been contacted in writing over recent weeks informing them of the move, and there will be no change in contact numbers with business resuming "as usual" on Monday (July 5).
The new surgery is being blessed by Dr Joseph’s parish priest Fr Anthony Clarke of St Huberts and St Wulstans, Great Harwood tomorrow (Saturday).