Agenda item

Community Diagnostics Centre Update


Stuart Windsor (Future Hospitals Director, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust), Nicki Collas (Future Hospitals Program Manager, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust) and Amanda Nash (Head of Communications, University Hospitals Plymouth) introduced the Community Diagnostics Centre Update and highlighted that:


a)    A report by Sir Mike Richards in 2020 had proposed the introduction of a series of diagnostics centres to address the diagnostic capacity issues across the country. The Government had launched a programme with plans to create a number of standardised diagnostic centres across the country;

b)    A diagnostics centre had already been established in Devon at the Nightingale Hospital. While the Plymouth diagnostic centre was originally intended as a branch/ spoke of this Devon hub, Plymouth’s unique challenges had inspired the development of a business case for a Plymouth hub in its own right;

c)    The bid had been successful and £25 million had been designated to create a community diagnostics centre in the city centre, close to some of the most deprived areas of the city;

d)    The centre would increase diagnostic capacity across the city, improve productivity and efficiency and reduce heath inequalities;

e)    It would include consultation rooms to increase efficiency alongside a variety of diagnostic tests, including those deemed to be a priority locally and the team were working in partnership with Plymouth City Council to develop the design;

f)     The centre would be built at Colin Campbell Court and a condition of the approval was to delivery temporary diagnostic capacity by the end of September 2023 via a mobile unit;

g)    The team were working closely with the strategic development team to ensure that any development there would complement future development;

h)    The site had excellent access by public transport and supported the trust’s aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions as access was not limited by car ownership;

i)     Services would include CT scanners, MRI scanners, X-ray rooms, ultrasound rooms and an audiology suite as well as the requirements for echocardiography, electrocardiogram, blood pressure monitoring, pacemaker checks and spirometry over 3,500 sqm;

j)     The project was expected to open by 1 April 2025 and would deliver the following additional annual capacity by the end of 2025/26:

                      i.        34,000 CT Scans;

                     ii.        9,000 MRI Scans

                    iii.        39,000 Ultrasound Tests

                    iv.        9,000 X-Ray’s

                     v.        2,000 Audiology assessments;

k)    A project board had been established with the Council, there were weekly working group meetings, and engagement would be carried out with patients and members of the public.


Councillor Mary Aspinall (Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care) added;

l)     The project came under Councillor Mark Lowry’s (Cabinet Member for Finance) portfolio, but they would work closely together on this project;

m)  It would benefit some of the more deprived communities in Plymouth by bringing services closer to them, but the services would be available to all.


In response to questions it was reported that:

n)    A condition of the bid was to have the temporary mobile unit on site from September 2023, but there would be a clear break between the building site and the mobile unit, though the exact location was yet to be determined;

o)    The award of the £25 million for the centre did come with conditions that the team were working with partners on to meet;

p)    This project was different to the Health Hub originally destined for the site, but it would utilise the site and funding to create this centre and the ambition was still to make it a health village.



Supporting documents: