Hornchurch & Upminster MP, Julia Lopez, has today welcomed a government plan to open a new Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) in Hornchurch from December - one of 13 centres announced today to add to the 114 now open across the country as part of the Prime Minister’s drive to cut NHS waiting lists and get people better, faster care.
The CDC will be located in the new St. George’s Health and Wellbeing Hub being built on Suttons Lane - itself due to open next spring - and will have capacity to deliver over 38,000 tests and scans a year, including CT and MRI. With more tests and scans delivered in the community, the hub will help residents get care close to home and avoid going to Queen’s Hospital, easing pressure on other key health services. The new diagnostic facilities, which speed up detection of disease, will mean that an extra 15% of people diagnosed with cancer per year will survive for at least five years post diagnosis.
Cutting NHS waiting lists, which grew during the pandemic, is one of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s five key pledges. By May the Government had delivered a 94% reduction in the number of people waiting more than 78 weeks for treatment from the September 2021 peak. Havering’s local NHS trust, BHRUT, has gone even further and in April announced that they had completely cleared waiting lists of those waiting more than 18 months for treatment.
Yesterday’s announcement is another significant milestone in Julia’s campaign since her election in 2017 to deliver better, faster health care to constituents by returning NHS services to Suttons Lane following the closure of St. George’s Hospital in 2012.
While proposals for a new St George’s health centre had long been in the pipeline, the project had become mired in funding and planning disputes and was effectively stalled, despite agreement among stakeholders that it was essential for services to return to the heart of Hornchurch. After her election Julia brought various NHS teams together to unlock issues holding the project back and convinced Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, to provide £17m in funding for the scheme in August 2019.
Commenting on today’s news, Mrs Lopez, said:
‘Hornchurch’s new diagnostic hub will be another fantastic government investment in health services in our constituency. With capacity to deliver over 38,000 diagnostic tests a year, this facility will get better, faster diagnosis and care to the people I represent and keep local residents out of hospital and closer to home - something that comes up time and again in the letters and emails we receive on local NHS care. Cutting NHS waiting lists is an absolute priority for the PM and is an area where local NHS providers have shown real leadership. This Community Diagnostic Centre, alongside a wide range of other services coming to the new St. George’s Health & Wellbeing Hub, will help to get people better care, ease pressure on Queen’s Hospital and deliver better health outcomes. I look forward to the first tests and scans taking place this winter.’
A copy of the letter from the Minister for Health and Secondary Care, Will Quince MP, confirming the investment can be viewed below this article.
For more information on the wider St. George’s Health and Wellbeing Hub, visit: https://www.nelft.nhs.uk/st-georges-health-and-wellbeing-hub/