April 13, 2024

New NHS diagnostic centre approved to ‘future-proof’ Slough health services

The council has approved a new NHS Community Diagnostic Centre to ‘future-proof’ health services in Slough.

The proposed two-storey building will support the treatment of cancer, cardiology, respiratory disease, and diabetes and provide facilities such as X-ray, ultrasound, cardiology, MRI and CT diagnostics.

A total of 61 parking spaces will be provided for staff, patients, and visitors, including accessible bays, and a service parking space.

Prior approval was granted in July 2023 to demolish five blocks attached to the main Upton Hospital building to facilitate the proposed development.

Registered speaker Kunal Khanna, clinical lead for radiology and diagnostics at Wexham Park Hospital spoke in favour of the proposal from a ‘clinical’ aspect as a doctor in the local area.

He said: “It’s very clear there is a significant challenge for many NHS trusts to make [CDCs] work either from the point of view of finding a site or even finding a team together, the logistics of planning and making it happen.

He was ‘excited’ by the proposal for a ‘pure diagnostics’ centre with lung function testing for respiratory patients which was ‘particularly important’ post-pandemic.

“We all know that the quicker we can make a diagnosis for patients the better their clinical outcomes. Medium to long term that takes the pressure off the NHS and health service locally all round. We increasingly want a future-proof plan in these difficult situations.”

He said patient convenience was at the forefront and the CDC would be beneficial from a management perspective.

The applicant provided a Statement of Clinical Need highlighting a ‘renewed impetus’ for ‘grouping diagnostics in a convenient easily accessible location’ close to the patient’s home and in areas of high health need which Slough falls within.

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust opted to make Upton Hospital the central hub for the programme, to improve population health outcomes, increase diagnostic capacity and contribute to reducing health inequalities.

Councillors were ‘very supportive’ of the location and Conservative Langley Marish ward councillor Chandra Muvvala suggested a bus shuttle service from east and west Slough to the CDC site during peak hours.

“I hope that more Slough residents get the benefit of the CDC than non-locals. Of course we’re happy to welcome everyone.”

Councillor Pavitar Kaur Mann (Lab, Britwell) enquired about the ‘intended geographical footprint’ of users of the service and whether it was the whole Frimley footpath or the East Berkshire cohort.

Planning officers said the application was accompanied with a needs assessment and the facility is based in Slough because that’s where the ‘greatest need’ is in terms of population and health and future demand.

The motion was carried forward by meeting chair Councillor Adil Iftakhar (Conservative, Langley St Mary’s) and seconded by Councillor Robert Stedmond (Conservative, Cippenham Green) with the council voting unanimously in favour.

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