The Hills Medical provides specialist services without patients having to leave the mountain
It took 15 months of planning, three months of building works, much mud and hundreds of questions from intrigued patients before the ‘Grand Design’ first floor extension to The Hills Medical was completed.
In 2004, when the ‘Arboreal Hall’ was purchased for the medical practice, the original building was repurposed as the Doctors’ Surgery. Given its historical and local significance, all efforts were made to retain the integrity of the structure and crucial maintenance works were undertaken with meticulous care.
At the same time, the now-familiar architect-designed waiting room, kitchen and reception area were constructed. Fast forward to 2011 and the addition of a first floor was commissioned to provided amenity and to complete the purpose and structure of the ‘new’ building. The upper storey boasts the multi-purpose training room, a kitchen area, administration areas and two more consultation rooms for visiting specialists. ‘We can now provide access to specialist services without patients having to leave the mountain,’ said Dr Graeme Smith. ‘Over the years, many people told me this was a problem for them so we sought to overcome it, and we believe we have.’
Practice Manager Wendy Bons said that the staff is thrilled with the new facilities and explained how they have ‘named’ the various areas: ‘We have the Harry Potter Cupboard which is our storage cupboard under the stairs, then we have Base Camp which is at bottom of the stairs near reception; then up the stairs, there’s our version of the 1000 Steps that we call the Kokoda Track, and when we get to the first floor, upstairs, we’ve conquered Mount Everest!’
With the sleek lines of the modern interpretive design complementing the original architecture of the historic Arboreal Hall, this is one ‘grand design’ that’s just what the doctor ordered!