Building works on a new NHS health centre in a Teesside town offering health checks, tests and scans will start soon – after being given the go-ahead by planners.
A planning application for the Tees Valley Diagnostic Centre on Stockton High Street was approved yesterday (9 August).
The centre, on the site of the former Castlegate Shopping Centre in the heart of Stockton Town Centre, will provide rapid tests for a range of health issues including cancer, heart and lung disease.
The scheme is being led by North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, with support from the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board.
It will form part of the Stockton Waterfront site, as part of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s plans to reshape its town centres.
Michael Houghton, director of transformation at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and the responsible officer for the diagnostic centre, said: “This is really exciting news for this development and our ambitions to open a health hub in Stockton Town Centre.
“It means we will soon start to see building works start on the site, after many months of planning with partners, and be able to deliver a fantastic facility to our local population.
“As other diagnostic centres are proving across our region and the country, they are helping to diagnose and catch issues like cancers more quickly and give people the answers they need to health issues.
“This centre will be run by a multi-professional team of health experts and will be ideally located in the centre of our patch, within reach of so many people which is why we are so confident it will have a significant impact on people’s health.”
The site will provide a number of diagnostic functions including MRI scans, CT scans, ultrasound scans, cardiology, x-rays, blood tests and respiratory checks.
Based in community settings such as towns, shopping centres and football stadiums, diagnostic hubs house a range of equipment, including MRI, CT, X-ray and ultrasound scanners and offer services including blood tests or heart rhythm and blood pressure monitoring.
The centre will sit on the southern end of the former shopping centre site as part of a wider transformation of the high street led by the council.
Councillor Nigel Cooke, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, said: “It’s excellent news that plans have been approved for the diagnostic centre right in the heart of our new waterfront development in Stockton Town Centre, as this facility will be a huge boost the Borough and wider area as a whole.
“It will be great to see the positive impact that this development has on the town centre in the future and today marks the first step towards the Borough’s residents being able to access this fantastic new facility.”