Wednesday 17 July 2024
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Nottingham

New £20m Nottinghamshire health diagnostics hub expected to get green light

A £20m state-of-the-art community diagnostics centre planned near a Community Hospital could be given the go-ahead this month.

NHS bosses have submitted the plans to Mansfield District Council as they look to introduce the potentially life-changing facility to the Stockwell Gate site.

Councillors have praised the major hub as a potential way of cutting diagnostics backlogs for numerous life-threatening conditions.

As many as 97,000 life-changing tests and scans could be conducted at the centre each year if planning consent is approved next week.

It’s hoped the centre would act as a “one-stop shop” for bringing early diagnoses for conditions like cancer.

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People visiting the centre would have access to a range of tests including MRI scans, CT scans, ultrasounds, endoscopies and X-rays.

Patients would then be able to get quick answers to their health concerns and get either the ‘all clear’ or a diagnosis sooner.

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

Now councillors on Mansfield District Council’s planning committee will discuss the proposals on April 24.

Councillors on the committee will be recommended to approve the hub ahead of an expected opening date of autumn 2024.

Papers reveal the centre would be a standalone building next to the existing community hospital.

A Victorian building currently on the site would be demolished to make way for the diagnostics centre.

No extra car parking would be created for the facility, with council planners saying only a “comparatively-low” number of new cars would visit the site.

Parking would continue to be accommodated in the existing 77-space public car park for the community hospital, papers say.

Speaking during a county council health scrutiny meeting last month, politicians from all political parties welcomed the facility.

Councillor Sue Saddington (Con), chair of the health scrutiny 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, added: “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, said: “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 would be needed for the hub if it is approved, NHS papers add.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust (SFH), which runs the community hospital alongside King’s Mill and Newark Hospital, would be in charge of the hub.

And David Ainsworth, SFH’s director for strategy and partnerships, told councillors some of the benefits could be felt before the site is open.

He said last month: “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.”

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