Construction begins this week on new Yeovil Diagnostic Centre


Construction begins this week on new Yeovil Diagnostic Centre

Work has begun on the construction of a brand new diagnostic centre at Yeovil District Hospital.

Our chief executive Peter Lewis was joined at a special breaking the ground ceremony by clinicians at the trust, along with representatives from InHealth, which will provide radiology and endoscopy services, and Prime, our trust’s strategic estates partner.

The centre, which is expected to open in late 2024, will provide over 70,000 diagnostic tests and outpatient appointments a year.

The modern state-of-the-art, stand-alone centre on the hospital site will benefit patients in Somerset and north west Dorset who will receive quicker diagnostic tests thanks to the additional capacity the centre will provide.

Open seven days a week, it will provide radiology, endoscopy, cardiology and audiology diagnostic tests and outpatient appointments.

InHealth will provide radiology and endoscopy services. Our trust will provide all other diagnostic and outpatient services. Prime, our strategic estates partner, will design and build the centre in partnership with InHealth and the trust.

Mr Jonathan Ockrim, one of our consultant colorectal surgeons and clinical lead for the Yeovil Community Diagnostic Centre, says:

“This new community diagnostic centre (CDC) is the latest in a number of high profile building projects that are happening at Yeovil District Hospital at the moment, which is fantastic to see.

“In fact, I’ve worked at the hospital for 21 years and have never seen such an incredible investment in new buildings and facilities at the hospital, which is giving us much more capacity to care for and treat our patients.

“Within the new CDC we’ll have a new audiology unit, a cardio diagnostic centre, as well as an imaging suite so we can get quicker and better quality CT and MRI scans for our patients.

“In additional the centre will house a brand new state-of-the-art endoscopy unit, which will help to relieve the pressure on our busy endoscopy unit in the main part of the hospital, so it can prioritise emergencies. We also expect waiting times for an endoscopy to be greatly reduced.

“The centre will also have a number of additional clinic rooms, as well as a conference room at the top for various clinical meetings to take place.

“Overall it promises to help us to reduce delays in diagnostics and endoscopy, and result in a much improved service.

“We’re really exciting to be breaking the ground this week and we’re very much looking forward to the new centre opening later this year…and I think our local population will be excited too – it’s such great news!”

In addition to the upcoming Yeovil Diagnostic Centre and the Taunton Diagnostic Centre that opened in September 2021, we've also opened two ophthalmology diagnostic centres – one in Yeovil town centre and the other on the Blackbrook Business Park in Taunton. Community investigation hubs have also been set up in each of Somerset’s Primary Care Networks.

David Shannon, our director of strategy and digital development, said: “All of these facilities expand our diagnostic capacity and mean that patients do not need to go into our busy hospitals for some diagnostic tests, and capacity within our busy hospitals is freed up for patients who require more complex care and those who are in hospital.”

Geoff Searle, Chief Executive Officer of InHealth, said: “We’re delighted to mark the official start of build works for the new Yeovil Diagnostic Centre. When ready, this will be one of five brand new CDCs in the South West, as part of InHealth’s partnership with NHS England in the South West and we’re proud to be working in partnership with Somerset NHS Foundation Trust to provide key clinical services to the local population through this new centre.

“Across our nationwide network of CDCs, we’ve seen the real difference and positive impact that centres like these can bring for patients, focussed on improving health outcomes, so it’s fantastic to be doing that here in Yeovil.

“Our mission at InHealth is to make healthcare better and improve access to services like the ones that are going to be delivered here, as well as reduce the time people are waiting for a diagnosis and care, so it really will be a fantastic healthcare facility and something that InHealth is already very proud of and very much looking forward to opening.”

Leighton Chumbley, Chief Executive at Prime said “Prime has been proud to work in partnership with Yeovil District Hospital since 2014 and more recently with Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

“We have delivered a number of transformational projects including the multi-storey car park opposite the main entrance and keyworker housing at Goldcroft.

“Patient and staff experience is at the forefront of the work we do, Yeovil Diagnostic Centre will not only enhance health outcomes in the region, but also enrich the local area by being a model of sustainable construction, with a net zero embodied carbon impact and biodiversity net gain.”

Healthcare construction specialists Darwin Group will design and build the new diagnostic centre.

Darwin Group Healthcare Director Alan Davidson, who attended the breaking ground ceremony, said: “We’re proud to be working for Prime as partners to design and construct the diagnostic centre at Yeovil Hospital for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

“It’s always great to see work getting underway and to hear firsthand about the impact that the facility will have on the local community.”