“In an example of sustainability, materials from a demounted Nightingale Hospitals have been reclaimed and reused to build a diagnostics centre in Beales department store, in Poole.” [Salus healthcare]
“The feeling is that town centres have to be reshaped to equip them for a new future that draws people for different reasons such as health, beauty, entertainment and education.” [Axminster Chamber of Commerce]
The latest edition of the Herald looks at how the NHS is doing – wiht a focus on cancer diagnostic waiting lists – and a promise:
The Government and NHS England set the ambition of returning this figure to pre-pandemic levels by March this year. What the latest NHS performance figures show | Sidmouth Herald
The Herald also carries a piece on the latest diagnostics technology: Genetic testing could bring in ‘new age’ of diagnostics in NHS | Sidmouth Herald
What’s happening in these parts when it comes to diagnostics?
This month, a new health centre for diagnostic testing in Plymouth was given the go-ahead: New Plymouth health hub gets go-ahead – BBC News
But perhaps there can be more innovative and sustainable ways of providing such facilities?
Eighteen months ago, plans were set in motion for a diagnosis centre to be opened in a department store in Poole using materials reclaimed from other hospitals:
The design team behind the temporary NHS Nightingale emergency hospitals that were deployed at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in April 2020 has overseen the completion of the first of 40 community NHS diagnostic centres opening in England. And in an example of sustainability, materials from the demounted Nightingale Hospitals have been reclaimed and reused to build the centre in Dorset, which will act as a one-stop-shop for much needed and overdue checks, scans and tests in the community...
To reduce current pressures on the NHS, design consultancy BDP and its construction and facilities management partner CFES have been working with University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust to open a new centre for breast screening and diagnostics in Beales department store, in Poole. Situated in the Dolphin shopping centre, it will also offer testing and assessments for orthopaedics, ophthalmology and dermatology diagnoses. SALUS – Article – Materials from Nightingale hospitals help build retail-based diagnostics centre
And here it is some months later:
This is part of our ‘Think Big’ initiative to help tackle our waiting lists and bring diagnostic services closer to the community. Outpatient assessment clinic @ Dorset Health Village
A similar project has just been completed in Exeter:
The NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter, a former Homebase, was created in 2020 with 116 beds to ease waiting lists. It is now a diagnostics centre and offers specialist eye, rheumatology and ophthalmology treatments. The NHS spent £16m creating the current hospital… Exeter former Covid hospital completes 1,000 operations – BBC News
Meanwhile in Sidmouth, there are not enough health workers – as elsewhere in the country: Medical practice hit by national GP shortage | Sidmouth Herald
Nevertheless, the Beacon Centre hopes its ongoing expansion will attract new staff: ‘Excellent news for patients’ as Sid Valley Practice improvements take shape | Sidmouth Herald
And when it comes to offering diagnostic services, the Beacon Centre can follow up with minor surgery after diagnosis:
Patients can be referred for excision of low risk skin cancers after diagnosis by their GP Surgical Services – Sid Valley Practice
Sidmouth’s Victoria Hospital can also only offer limited diagnostics services – but beyond x-rays, patients will have to go to the Devon Diagnostic Centre in Exeter: NHS Royal Devon | Community Medical Imaging
Although there are diagnostic services relating to caring for the elderly: Sidmouth Hospital, Sidmouth | CareServices.org.uk
Why not make use of one of the vacant shops on Sidmouth High Street – and copy what’s happened in Poole?
After all, back during the depths of the pandemic, it was suggested that such facilities could help revive town centres:
The feeling is that town centres have to be reshaped to equip them for a new future that draws people for different reasons such as health, beauty, entertainment and education. The future of our high streets: of levelling up and council funding – Vision Group for Sidmouth