Bringing healthcare closer to home: improving community health services in Hinckley
Following extensive public engagement, NHS England has given the go ahead for the development of a Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) on the Hinckley and District Hospital Mount Road site. The CDC is an investment of £24.6m to bring more health services closer to people in Hinckley and the surrounding area. In addition to the CDC, proposals have also been submitted for a Day Case Unit, providing planned surgical procedures for patients who would then be able to return home on the same day. If the Day Case Unit is approved, this will result in a further £10m being invested in Hinckley’s health services.
The Community Diagnostic Centre
The Community Diagnostic Centre will be a purpose-built facility in Hinckley, providing a “one-stop shop” for a range of diagnostic checks, scans and tests closer to peoples’ homes. It will be built on the existing site of Hinckley and District Community Hospital.
This facility is a £24.6m investment in health services and is one of only 40 to be awarded NHS funding in England. The scheme forms part of the government’s ambition to roll out 160 community diagnostic centres across the country by 2025.
The Community Diagnostic Centre is intended to be operational from December 2024, delivering up to 89,000 tests and appointments per year. It will provide CT, MRI, X-ray and ultrasound, as well as clinical rooms for phlebotomy, endoscopy, audiology and cardio-respiratory tests.
Benefits to local people
The Community Diagnostic Centre will mean services are provided closer to home for local people, avoiding the need to travel to other hospitals further away, in a modern, fit for purpose building that meets the needs of a growing population
Following a GP referral, patients will be able to get their symptoms checked and receive a potentially life-saving diagnosis for a range of conditions such as cancer, heart and lung disease more quickly.
The Community Diagnostic Centre will also create wider benefits for the NHS locally. The provision of local diagnostic services will relieve pressures on hospitals in Leicester and Nuneaton and supports sustainability aims in the NHS by reducing travel.
The Day Case Unit
We are currently working on a proposal to NHS England for a new Day Case Unit, which, if approval is granted, would replace the existing Community Hospital. This would take the total investment in local health services up £34.6m. An outcome on this is expected by late Autumn 2023.
The proposed new Day Case Unit would provide planned surgical procedures in hospital for patients who would then be able to return home on the same day, offering more services than are currently available at Hinckley and District Hospital. Services would include general surgery, gynaecology, ophthalmology, orthopaedic surgery, pain management, plastic surgery, podiatric surgery, urology and vascular surgery.
Between 2016 and 2022 there were extensive discussions about health services in Hinckley with patients, carers, staff and stakeholders, including Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, community groups and the local MP.
This was followed by the Improving Hinckley Community Services public engagement process, between January and March 2023.
The engagement showed that there is strong support for a new Community Diagnostic Centre to be built on the Hinckley and District Hospital (Mount Road) site, with 87% of respondents agreeing with this proposal.
People also shared their views on options for the new Day Case Unit, with the highest proportion of respondents (42%) opting for the unit to be co-located with the new Community Diagnostic Centre, so that all services could be provided on the same site.
More than half of respondents (52%) also agreed that the Adult and Children’s Physiotherapy facilities should be moved into the Hinckley Hub on Rugby Road, from their original portacabin location on Mount Road.
To read a copy of the Engagement Report please click here.
Design of the new Community Diagnostic Centre
The proposed new building will be on the site of the existing physiotherapy service portacabins (the services within that building have been relocated to temporary alternative premises whilst refurbishment takes place on their new permanent location at the Hinckley Hub on Rugby Road).
The site will principally have two storeys, providing 1541.32 sq m of space for medical use, with 378.98 sq m of associated plant area set on the roof, and an additional 217.13 sq m of screened external plant. (Plant refers to the mechanical and electrical components required to run the building, such as air source heat pumps, solar panels and air handling units.) There will be 29 car parking spaces and 9 new cycle spaces.
In order to reduce any tendency for the building to have an overbearing presence along the highway, it will have a modular design, with varying roof heights. It will have a stepped design, leading back from Mount Road.
- Outline planning application for the Community Diagnostic Centre submitted to Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council in August 2023.
- If planning approved, Community Diagnostic Centre operational by December 2024.
- The scheme for a proposed new Day Case Unit is currently subject to approval of a business case which has been submitted to NHSE .
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