Plans have been revealed which show that a new state-of-the-art Community Diagnostic Centre will be located in the Broad Marsh regeneration development in the city centre, and will be run and staffed by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.
The Department for Health and Social Care announced last year that it is funding 13 new Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs), including one in the centre of Nottingham, to help reduce the backlog of patients waiting for diagnostic tests.
CDCs are designed as a one-stop shop which support GPs by providing direct access to diagnostics services such as MRI, CT, x-ray, ultrasound, echocardiography, ECG, and lung function testing. This allows for more rapid diagnosis of conditions such as cancer, which in turn will help patients access the life-saving treatments they need more quickly.
We have been working closely with colleagues at Nottingham City Council, who we will be leasing the building from, and now have an initial agreement in place for us to proceed with the £25million NHS facility.
The Broad Marsh regeneration has already seen the development of a new Central Library, car park and bus station, a new Nottingham College city hub and has transformed streets and public spaces in the area by increasing footfall, particularly supporting businesses on Lister Gate.
When the CDC opens in Spring 2025, it will provide an additional 100,000 diagnostic appointments each year. Once at full capacity it will provide in excess of 140,000 appointments annually, which will be available to patients through hospital consultants initially, and eventually also via GPs.
To help address the immediate backlog of diagnostics tests before the permanent CDC is open, temporary community diagnostics tests have been available behind NEMS Platform One near Nottingham Railway Station since December 2023.
Paul Matthew, Chief Financial Officer at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said:
“We are delighted that we can now share the news that our excellent, highly skilled and dedicated NUH staff will be running the future CDC facility in Nottingham city centre, which will help to change the lives of so many of our patients for the better.
“This centre will be vital in reducing the number of people in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire waiting too long for diagnostic tests so that they can then either have peace of mind they deserve, or can begin any treatment required sooner. It will also enable patients to access these tests without needing to travel to a hospital.
“We look forward to working with our partners to further develop plans to help more patients across the city access the care they need.”
In addition, the CDC will create 75 new jobs in Nottingham across a range of disciplines including consultant radiologists, radiographers, imaging assistants, physiologists and administrators. When the unit is at full capacity it will employ 135 staff.
Planning applications and formal contracts will now be drawn up to enable this important new NHS centre to progress.
The Lister Gate facility will be the second CDC in Nottinghamshire after plans were announced for a centre in Mansfield, to be run by Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The national programme of CDCs is part of the NHS Long Term Plan to provide patients with diagnostic care nearer to home without the need to attend acute hospital sites.
Nationally CDCs aim to improve population health outcomes and efficiency, reduce cancer waiting times and health inequalities, and help to address the elective backlog recovery exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The national programme is backed by £2.3 billion in government funding, and the CDCs are based in convenient locations such as shopping centres and football stadiums and have already delivered an additional six million tests, checks and scans.
Nottingham City Council Leader, Cllr David Mellen, said: “This is another major step forward in the transformation of the Broad Marsh area that has been taking place over the last couple of years.
“Following the opening of the new Central Library and with work underway on the new Green Heart city centre park, we’re really pleased to be able to announce with Nottingham University Hospitals that this fantastic new health facility will also be located at Broad Marsh.
“When the shopping centre closed following the collapse of intu, we said we wanted to see something different for Broad Marsh, not another shopping centre. This was underlined by the feedback we received from local people as part of the Big Conversation engagement exercise, the largest the council had ever undertaken.
“The Community Diagnostic Centre is exactly the kind of facility everyone wants to see at Broad Marsh. It will provide a boost for businesses and jobs in the area by increasing footfall. By reusing part of the frame of the old shopping centre, as proposed in the Broad Marsh vision, the building will support the city’s ambitions to be carbon neutral by 2028.
“It will also help address some of the significant health issues and inequalities Nottingham faces as a city. People will be able to access vital health services right in the centre of the city, near to the new bus station and car park and a short walk from the train station, in a state-of-the-art building surrounded by new people-friendly green streets and public spaces.”
Amanda Sullivan, Chief Executive at NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board, said: “It’s fantastic news that Nottingham and Nottinghamshire’s new NHS-run Community Diagnostic Centre will be opening to patients to provide an easier and altogether better patient experience by having a host of diagnostic services in one place.
“Earlier diagnosis is better for everyone. Not only will the increased testing help to improve the health of the local population and meet the growing demand for diagnostic services, it will also help free up capacity at our local hospitals and save money for the health and care system."