New NHS Health Hub will open on Stockton Waterfront as part of town centre plans
A new NHS health hub offering rapid scans, tests and checks as a key part of the Stockton Waterfront development will go-ahead after funding was approved.
The proposed community diagnostic centre will sit on the former Castlegate Shopping Centre site on Stockton High Street and will be a one-stop shop offering tests to help speed up diagnosis of conditions from cancer to heart or lung disease.
The plans for Stockton, which will signal a wider transformation of the high street led by the Council, will help create around 130 new roles in the diagnostic centre.
The scheme is being delivered by the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System in collaboration with North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The new state-of-the-art building will offer a range of diagnostic tests, to support earlier diagnosis and treatment and will deliver an improved patient and staff experience.
The centre will be located on the southern end of the Stockton Waterfront development along with key Council services including leisure, health and community facilities.
Councillor Nigel Cooke, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, said: "This is fantastic news for Stockton and a huge show of faith in our plans to transform the Castlegate Shopping Centre site.
"This is such an exciting opportunity and it shows there is a clear desire for partners to be in the heart of our new waterfront development.
"The new centre will be surrounded by new Council services on the southern part of the site and a fantastic urban park is certain to be a significant footfall driver.
"These facilities are set to be in a central and accessible location to serve the people of the Borough and further afield. I am confident they will also deliver significant benefits to a number of areas."
Phil Woolfall, clinical director for radiology at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: "This is fantastic news for our population across the Tees Valley - this diagnostic centre will help make healthcare readily available for all.
"Having access to services including MRI scans and CT scans means patients can receive faster health checks outside of the hospital setting and closer to their homes.
"Diagnostic centres have already proven their effectiveness across the country - it's something we and our partners believe is the right one for our population."
David Reaich, deputy chief medical officer at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "This new centre will build on the access to diagnostic scans which is already in place for patients at sites across Teesside."
Last month, the Department of Health and Social Care announced diagnostic centres across the country have helped carry out two million scans, tests and checks.
Based in community settings such as shopping centres and football stadiums, diagnostic hubs house a range of cutting-edge equipment, including MRI, CT, X-ray and ultrasound scanners and offer services including blood tests or heart rhythm and blood pressure monitoring.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust currently provides its diagnostic care in hospital by specialists - where patients with 'nonspecific symptoms' which could be linked to cancer or other illness are seen within two weeks.