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Groundbreaking shows start of Newmarket Community Diagnostic Centre build

The groundbreaking event for the construction of a new Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) at Newmarket Community Hospital took place on Friday, 12 January 2024, marking an exciting step forward in this improvement project.

The Newmarket CDC, which forms part of a national programme to improve local access to diagnostic testing, will provide patients living in the west of the region with quicker and faster access to a wide range of tests, such as MRI, CT, X-ray, ultrasound, lung function and cardiology This means waiting times will be reduced for patients, and a decrease in the length of time between being referred for tests, having appointments, getting results, and beginning any necessary treatment.

Michelle West, superintendent radiographer for the Newmarket Community Hospital, said: “This new facility will make such a difference for our patients living in the local area, and means they have access to high quality diagnostics on their doorstep. Also, for many, the location and modern features of the CDC will greatly improve the experience of accessing the care they need.”

Investing in the Newmarket Community Hospital site is a commitment of the WSFT and with almost £15m of funding secured from the national CDC programme, this project will help reduce health inequalities in the region by providing patients with access to the care they need, closer to where they live. Alongside representatives from Morgan Sindall Construction, JSH, Sweco and KLH – the Trust’s project partners in designing and delivering this facility – Dr Ewen Cameron, chief executive of the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, turned the first part of the ground, to celebrate the start of this exciting phase.

Dr Ewen Cameron said: “This represents a big step forward in delivering a new CDC for our communities in Newmarket and the surrounding areas and builds on our commitment to further develop services at the Newmarket Community Hospital.

“This facility will greatly expand our diagnostic capacity, meaning we will provide the right care, at the right time, and in the right place, even more quickly, which will ultimately and most importantly, improve outcomes for our patients.”

The CDC will be constructed using modern building techniques, including off-site manufacturing which increases the speed at which it can be constructed and green building aspects so that it contributes to the Trust’s environmental goals.

Featuring air source heat pumps to provide an efficient source of heating and hot water, the building’s temperature will also be regulated through constant air volume (CAV) heating and cooling and heat recovery units to ensure consistent and efficient temperature control.

123 photovoltaic (PV) panels – also known as solar panels – will be installed as part of the scheme. Along with other features, this will generate at least 46% of CDC’s energy, 36% above the original target, showcasing the Trust’s commitment to building for the future in a sustainable way.

Morgan Sindall has been preparing the site for building works to commence. Alister Broadberry, Morgan Sindall’s Eastern Counties area director said: “Community is always at the heart of everything we do at Morgan Sindall, so collaborating with the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust to deliver a modern, tailored facility that brings key services closer to the local area is a project that the team and I are really excited about.

“Our sustainability focused approach to construction matches the Trust’s environmental commitment, which has seen us work together to drive down emissions. For example, the use of offsite manufacturing will cut emissions and waste during the CDC’s construction while technologies such as air source heat pumps and PV panels will enable the facility to operate sustainably on a day-to-day basis.”

It is expected that the construction phase of the project will be fully completed by the end of October 2024, and that the first patients will be seen by the end of this year.

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