Wednesday 24 April 2024
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£20m Nottinghamshire diagnostics hub could conduct 100,000 annual scans

A new community diagnostics medical centre planned on Nottinghamshire could conduct 100,000 life-changing tests and scans each year.

NHS bosses are now finalising the details of the £20m centre, which had its funding approved by the Government last month.

The facility will be built on land near the town’s Community Hospital, on Stockwell Gate, and will significantly speed up diagnoses for a range of health conditions including cancer.

Its aim is to provide a one-stop shop for patients to access tests and investigations in a single visit.

An artists impression of the new community diagnostics centre. Image credit SFH

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It would give quick answers to health concerns including cancer and allow people to get either the ‘all clear’ or a diagnosis sooner.

The hub will be operated by Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust (SFH), which runs the Community Hospital and the nearby King’s Mill site.

The trust says the facility could welcome its first patients by autumn 2024 and go on to support thousands of people each year.

Now councillors have been told more specifics about the centre’s operations – and have been told it could conduct almost 100,000 life-changing tests and scans each year.

It will provide more equipment, time and staff for tests including MRI scans, CT scans, ultrasounds, endoscopies and X-rays.

And NHS bosses say the centre will also lead to reduced waiting times for thousands of patients once it opens.

It’s as Nottinghamshire County Council’s health scrutiny committee gave its backing to the plans ahead of a future planning permission decision.

The committee met on Tuesday (March 28) and heard from NHS bosses about how the new facility will also benefit patients.

A spokesperson for the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire NHS Integrated Care Board said: “We will prioritise the waiting list with the work SFH does.

“There will be a period of time when we build the CDC and, during this time, our waiting lists will reduce.

“The two things must be done in parallel.”

David Ainsworth, SFH’s director for strategy and partnerships, added: “We’re waiting for approval of some additional funds to go live in December this year.

“If that comes good, we’ve got a plan in place to start some of the work already and we’d look to move an MRI scanner onto the Community Hospital site.

“We’d probably do some ultrasounds and blood tests and we think that could give us an additional 500 tests from that site from December this year.

“This starts to lead into the planning that, by 2024/25, we’d have an additional 97,000 tests just from this new site.”

Mr Ainsworth added a similar facility could be built near Nottingham’s City Hospital in the future.

Councillors spoke in favour of the plans and said the scheme will make a difference to the health of residents.

Cllr Sue Saddington (Con), chair of the committee, said: “It’s really exciting.

“To bring it to people where they’re able to get diagnoses quickly without travelling across the county is such a bonus. It has to be commended.”

Cllr David Martin (Ash Ind), who represents Selston, also welcomed the plan, saying: “It’s a great news story for Mansfield, Ashfield, Newark and Sherwood.

“It’s a great idea, site and location and the local spend is positive.

“It’s going to increase diagnoses and that’s great news for our part of the county.”

And Cllr Michelle Welsh (Lab), who represents Arnold South, added: “Early diagnosis is very critical for a number of conditions.

“I think it’s absolutely fantastic and I want everywhere to have them.”

About 160 new staff will be needed for the Mansfield CDC once it opens, NHS papers add.

Mansfield District Council’s planning committee will review the NHS’s planning application in the coming months.

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