A landmark NHS diagnostics centre can soon open in Oldham after two important milestones were approved by Oldham Council.
The council is working in partnership with Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust (NCA) which last week was granted planning permission to build the community diagnostics centre on vacant land at Salmon Fields, Royton.
On Monday, Oldham Council’s cabinet also approved the granting of a 50-year lease for NCA to use the council-owned land so that the development can begin.
Cllr Arooj Shah, Oldham Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic and Social Reform, said: “We are proud to be working alongside NCA on this important centre which will play a huge role in our local community.
“It will bring a first-class health facility to Oldham – giving people across the region convenient access to care with earlier diagnosis and shorter waiting times.
“The site is flexible to accommodate the future expansion of services and will help to create a wide range of quality jobs and training opportunities. It’s a win-win for all involved.”
Cllr Zahid Chauhan, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, added: “As a GP I know first-hand the importance of early diagnosis. The pandemic has forced NHS waiting times to a record high – and the new centre will play an important role in addressing this. This site will save lives and we are delighted to have it on our doorstep.”
Barney Schofield, Director of Planning and Delivery for Northern Care Alliance, which runs hospital and community services in Oldham as well as Bury, Rochdale and Salford, added: “Our local teams have already made great progress in ramping scans and tests back up to pre-pandemic levels, and this new investment will help us go even further – while also providing a more convenient option for patients.
“The Oldham Community Diagnostic Centre will be one of the first, and best, in the country and will bring advanced diagnostic imaging technology into the heart of the community. It is a great example of what can be achieved by the NHS working in close partnership with the local authority to deliver a shared vision. Ultimately our ambition is to diagnose disease at an earlier stage of progression, where chances of successful treatment are improved.”
The one-stop shop will provide a full range of diagnostic imaging technology and lung tests, open 7 days a week. And through collaboration with The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, it will also provide patients with access to PET-CT scans, which they currently have to travel to either South Manchester or Wigan to access.
It’s estimated that more than 30,000 patients a year will use the Oldham centre, with a number of benefits being delivered to them, including:
- Earlier diagnosis of both cancer and cardio-respiratory disease, resulting in improved outcomes for patients
- Shorter waiting times and more convenient access for patients.
- Transformed care pathways enabling patients to have multiple tests on the same day in the same place, bringing a ‘one stop shop’ model of care to our communities
- An overall reduction in hospital visits, helping to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission; and contribute to the NHS’ net zero ambitions by providing multiple tests at one visit, reducing the number of patient journeys and cutting carbon emissions and air pollution.
Work on the centre will begin in January 2022 with it expected to open to patients in Spring 2022.