BUILDING work on a £7 million super-clinic will start on the site of derelict flats in Walkden as early as next July.

Patients at the new flagship clinic will have a team of specialists gathered around them to diagnose all their problems at once and give treatment including minor surgery.

The Primary Care Trust plans to demolish two blocks of empty flats in Cloverfield Walk and Fitchfield Walk, opposite the Ellesmere Centre, to make way for the centre.

Walkden will be in the first wave of six out of a total of 10 clinics which the trust will build in Salford in the next five years to improve health care services.

Work on the first batch will start from July next year and finish before December 2004, although individual schedules have not yet been agreed.

Nicola King, deputy director of development at Salford Primary Care Trust, said: "If you go to your GP and are diagnosed with a disease they often refer you to several specialists.

"For example you might need to see a speech therapist, a physiotherapist and also have an eye test due to the effects of the disease.

"The result is several appointments on different days. The beauty of the new clinics is that a team of specialists will actually gather around you and treat you in one place."

The Walkden clinic is estimated to cost around £7 million out of a total £45 million as part of the NHS 'LIFT' programme, which stands for Local Improvement Finance Trust.

More than 80 per cent of those questioned in Salford were in favour of the scheme and it is hoped it will ease pressure on hospital staff.

Procedures will include non-invasive operations such as basic ear, nose and throat surgery, in-growing toenails and varicose vein treatments.