Councillors praise diagnostic centre

By Nub News Reporter

14th Nov 2023 | Local News

South Basildon and East Thurrock MP Stephen Metcalfe has also praised the centre plans
South Basildon and East Thurrock MP Stephen Metcalfe has also praised the centre plans

BASILDON councillors have called a new diagnostic centre a "godsend" for their area, and predict that the facility will enable more people to receive timely healthcare and reduce NHS waiting times.

The Pitsea Diagnostic Centre, which will be located at The Place in the town centre, has been designed to offer a range of tests such as CT and MRI scans to approximately 250,000 people, with its opening likely to be set for 2024.

The Pitsea facility will form part of the £2.3 billion Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) programme, which is a capitally-funded initiative to establish multiple centres across the UK between 2022 and 2025.

The project is a joint effort between Basildon Borough Council, Essex County Council and the Mid and South Essex NHS Trust. On a national scale, the new facilities will open with the aim of reaching patients earlier and offering faster and more accurate diagnoses, as well as reducing health inequalities by providing more accessible diagnostic tests for conditions.

The Mid and South Essex Integrated Care System (ICS) has already secured funding for two other diagnostic centres in Thurrock and Braintree through the initiative.

Due to the short timescale during which a site had to be decided for the Pitsea Centre, Basildon Council and Essex County Council identified The Place as the most appropriate site despite being in need of various repair works.

However, although The Place is also where the Essex County Council-run library and separate community centre are situated, councillors reiterated that they intend to provide brand new library and community space provisions on site once the diagnostic centre is open, as well as interim facilities for users of these services.

If planning permission is granted, it is envisaged that the centre will be open Monday to Sunday; from 8am to 8pm. Available tests will include Endoscopy, MRI and CT scanners, X-Ray, Ultrasound, blood tests, lung and heart checks, skin lesion tests and bone density checks.

At a meeting of the scrutiny committee Basildon councillors noted the report by director of resources Owen Sparks and overwhelmingly offered their praise for the project.

Although Councillor Patricia Reid (Lab., Pitsea North West) said that it would be a "shame" to expect there to be a slightly disrupted interim period as temporary provisions are organised, Councillor Terri Sargent (Con., Crouch Ward) said that the regeneration of The Place and new facilities would be "a godsend" for the Basildon and Pitsea communities.

Councillor Jeff Henry (Con., Laindon Park) said the diagnostic centre application is "the first time (he had) seen anything moving at this pace".

"Such an incredible amount of work has gone into this at every level, and I think it is a brilliant scheme. This will revolutionise healthcare in the south of Essex," he added.


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