A new town centre NHS health hub offering rapid scans, tests and checks is a step closer – after a planning application was made.
An application for the Tees Valley Diagnostic Centre on Stockton High Street was submitted on Thursday.
The centre, on the site of the former Castlegate Shopping Centre currently being demolished, would provide scans, tests and checks for issues including cancer, heart and lung disease.
The site – run jointly by two health trusts in Teesside – will provide a number of diagnostic functions including MRI scans, CT scans, ultrasound scans, cardiology, x-rays, blood tests and respiratory checks.
Following a tender process, a building contractor has been appointed and internal designs for the centre have been agreed.
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.
Phil Woolfall, clinical director for radiology at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “These latest developments are more fantastic news for our population across the Tees Valley.
“The planning application submitted this week is the result of the excellent partnership working we have had with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council to progress the development of the site.
“Along with all organisations involved, they have been instrumental in helping with the delivery of the centre.”
David Reaich, deputy chief medical officer at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Other key developments have been achieved over recent weeks – including agreeing the layout and designs of this state-of-the-art centre and ensuring it fits modern environmental standards such as achieving a BREEAM Excellent standard, operating with net zero carbon emissions and using modern methods of construction.
“This will not only be a centre to help diagnose and catch issues like cancer more quickly – but it will do so while offering sustainability and longevity to our community.”
Based in community settings such as towns, shopping centres and football stadiums, diagnostic hubs house a range of cutting-edge equipment, including MRI, CT, X-ray and ultrasound scanners and offer services including blood tests or heart rhythm and blood pressure monitoring.
David Gallagher, executive area director south for the North East and North Cumbria ICB, said: “This project will be a welcome addition to the Tees Valley community diagnostic centre programme and adds to the significant progress made in establishing and operating the existing sites in the area.
“To date the sites already in operation have delivered an additional 80,000 diagnostic tests, providing a more convenient way for patients to get the tests they need.”
The centre will sit on the southern end of the former shopping centre site and signal a wider transformation of the high street led by the council.
The waterfront development is an area that is three times the size of Trafalgar Square and will also include an urban park which will be a transformational public space for residents and visitors.
Garry Cummings, director of finance, development and regeneration and deputy chief executive at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, said: “This is exciting news for Stockton Town Centre, showing there is a clear desire for partners to be in the heart of the new waterfront development.
“The CDC will make essential services more accessible for our communities through a convenient location and excellent transport links.
“The new centre and the urban park that will include flexible spaces for events, concessions and unique play areas for families are all certain to be a significant footfall driver.”