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Work gets underway at Thurrock’s new health centre

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A ground breaking ceremony was held last week to celebrate the start of construction at a new diagnostics centre in Thurrock, Essex.

The Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) is being built at Thurrock Community Hospital, owned by Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. Morgan Sindall Construction’s Essex business was appointed to the Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust project via the NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) framework.

The construction activity will include the refurbishment of a 1,100 m2 building into new consulting rooms and staff support spaces. An existing single-storey building will also be demolished and replaced with a new infill building to house X-ray rooms, CT, and MRI scanners.

When complete, the CDC will offer CT, MRI and ultrasound scans, echocardiography, blood tests, X-rays and lung checks. The centre will deliver over 50,000 checks per year, with appointments offered seven days per week.

The modern purpose-built centre will speed up access to diagnostic tests in the local area and drive down waiting lists. It is part of a national Government funded programme to increase diagnostic capacity, providing one-stop shops for checks, tests, and scans in the heart of local communities.

Thurrock’s centre will be the first of several in mid and south Essex, with CDCs set to open in Braintree and Pitsea, as well as a centre for Southend.

The tier one contractor has liaised closely with the Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust and employed its Intelligent Solutions approach to ensure the project meets the needs of the hospital throughout its design, construction and operation. This has included designing specialist areas and arranging work and deliveries to minimise disruption in what is quite a tight building area.


The ceremony on Friday 15th March saw the Mayor of Thurrock, Cllr Sue Little, Cllr Mark Hooper, the Chair of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Matthew Hopkins, Chief Executive of Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, Aleks Mecan, Thurrock Alliance Director, Ann Sheridan, Chief Nurse from Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (which owns the Thurrock Community Hospital site) alongside representatives from Morgan Sindall Construction and other partners involved in Thurrock’s CDC project.

Dale Smith, Head of Operations at Morgan Sindall Construction’s Essex business, said:

The ground breaking ceremony was a great opportunity to reflect on the wide variety of vital health benefits Thurrock’s new Community Diagnostic Centre will provide for the local area. We’re delighted to once again be working with Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, with whom we’ve established a really collaborative and robust relationship over several projects. By combining our extensive experience in constructing specialist medical environments alongside a hand-in-hand approach with Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, we can ensure that the completed project meets the multifaceted needs of the staff, patients and Thurrock community.”

Matthew Hopkins, Chief Executive at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said:

The CDCs are vital to our efforts to reduce waiting lists and make sure that patients receive their test results more quickly and closer to home. We are working with partners across Thurrock to ensure this centre meets the needs of local people. While we wait for the build to complete, we are providing temporary CT and MRI scanners in Orsett so that patients can already start to benefit.”

Tracy Dowling, Interim Chief Executive at Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board, said:

This is a great example of how working collaboratively we can deliver improvements for our patients. The range of tests that will be available in Thurrock will mean health issues can be detected earlier, improving the chance of successful treatment.
The location for the new centre will improve access to diagnostic services which we hope will be more convenient to them and save them from having to travel to their nearest hospital for tests.”