Our proposed scheme for a new community diagnostic centre (CDC) at Barking Community Hospital (BCH) was heard at Monday’s Barking and Dagenham Planning Committee. Members were overwhelmingly in favour, which means we can now proceed with the next steps.
The CDC will provide more tests and scans for north east London (NEL) residents and will mean those living in Barking and Dagenham can access these services on their doorstep.
The site was chosen to help us meet growing demand in the area and reduce health inequalities. The area is expected to see a significant increase in population over the next 20-30 years and the change in demographics in the borough will contribute to a 21% rise in the demand for diagnostics.
It will also reduce travel times for local people and provide an improved, patient experience.
While work is due to start on site in August, work will start offsite in April to prepare the modular building itself. The CDC is planned to be completed by the end of November this year and we hope to start seeing our first patients in December.
In the meantime, we are continuing to invest in the site. Over recent months, Barking has been boosted by more mobile CT and MRI scanners, ultrasound facilities and X-ray machines, which has been vital in helping us reduce waiting lists and treat residents faster and having the green light to proceed with the CDC is a further boost for the borough and our local communities.
Director of Strategy and partnerships Ann Hepworth said: “I’m delighted that the Planning Committee endorsed our plans. It demonstrates a genuine commitment from us as a Trust, together with our Local Authority colleagues, to improving care and access to services for local people.
“£14.8 million pounds of new investment will ensure more people receive the scans, the treatment, and the care they need closer to where they live.”
The CDC will have suitable waiting, changing and other public facilities, such as hearing induction loops, and landscaped outside space. It will house scanning equipment such as MRI, CT, and ultrasound alongside consultation rooms for a range of other tests. X-ray, ophthalmology, and additional ultrasound facilities will be housed in the current BCH, which will stay open during the construction period. We are using what’s known as the Modern Method of Construction to minimise disruption and increase the speed of the build.
CDCs are a national programme, set up to ensure patients have access to planned diagnostic care nearer to home without the need to attend acute hospital sites.
Approval for our BCH CDC follows a NEL-wide consultation. As part of this exercise, we engaged with residents and stakeholders to help us understand what’s important to them when accessing these services to improve their experience; this feedback is helping to inform our plans, for example, we are including an outside seating area. Find out what people told us, from how we can make the environment relaxing to preferred appointment times.
We look forward to sharing further updates as the work progresses.