Work is under way to relocate Emsworth Surgery to a new home in the town centre.
Contractors Mountjoy moved on site on January 20 as part of a £3.5m scheme to convert the unused former Victoria Cottage Hospital into a state-of-the-art surgery.
The work is due to be completed in January next year and it is hoped that the new surgery could open its doors to its first patients in March 2021.
For years GPs, staff and patients have struggled to cope on their cramped existing site a stone's throw away from the unused hospital.
Building works will involve the demolition of single-storey outbuildings, a new rear single-storey extension to the main building, the installation of a new lift shaft, the reconfiguration of rooms within the surgery and internal and external decorations.
Dr Abu Chinwala, a partner at Emsworth Surgery, said: "We've had such a long and at times frustrating wait for a new home. But we are counting the days now.
"It's very exciting seeing the contractors on site and making such good progress.
"This is good news for us as GPs and every member of our staff, who just want to be able to offer our patients the best possible primary care services and facilities that we can. But most importantly it's great news for our patients.
"The practice had 2,000 patients when we opened. We have 13,000 now. We just could not have coped much longer on our existing site.”
Sara Tiller, Managing Director of NHS South East Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which has supported the scheme and helped secure the funding from NHS England, said: "It's fantastic to see a vision turn into reality – and that is what we are seeing on site now.
"It's a win/win situation – great news for all those people who campaigned so strongly to keep the surgery in the heart of their community; great news for the GPs who wanted to provide modern and accessible premises with space to expand; and great news for patients.”
Adam Shepheard, Principal Construction Manager for NHS Property Services said: "We are pleased to have reached a positive long-term solution which has provided the best outcome for all parties. The local community is able keep an important local site in public possession, as well as retain their GP service in the locality and this was achieved through working proactively with local stakeholders and partners. The community will now benefit from a modern, fit-for-purpose GP surgery that serves the healthcare needs for patients and a better working environment for staff.”
Duncan O'Rourke, Building Projects Director for contractors Mountjoy, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be part of this exciting project which will bring new life to the old Victoria Cottage Hospital Building and much needed new facilities to the local community.”
*The Victoria Cottage Hospital was decommissioned and closed in April 2013. The site has been unused since then. The Emsworth Surgery's branch in Westbourne is being retained.