Construction underway on diagnostic centre at Yeovil District Hospita

  • 13th May 2024

To celebrate work beginning on the construction of a new diagnostic centre at Yeovil District Hospital, construction firm, Darwin Group, invited key partners in the delivery of the facility to attend a ground-breaking ceremony.

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (FT) chief executive, Peter Lewis, was joined at the ceremony by clinicians at the trust, along with representatives from InHealth, which will provide radiology and endoscopy services; Prime plc, the trust’s strategic estates partner; and funder, M&G Investment.

The centre, which is expected to open later this year, 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 it will provide.

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

Thanks to Darwin Group’s innovative offsite modular construction methods, the project will be delivered up to 60% faster and with up to 90% less waste than traditional building methods, making it one of the most-efficient and sustainable options in the marketplace.

Specialising in health and care property development, Prime collaborated closely with Darwin Group to design and develop a cutting-edge facility.

And the result will be a high-performing, sustainable, low-energy new build, meticulously designed to achieve net zero embodied carbon.

Furthermore, it is projected to yield a biodiversity net gain of 267%.

The facility will take shape quickly with 73 modules being delivered and installed overnight over the course of eight days, transforming the estate at pace, while minimising disruption to the busy active hospital site.

Jonathan Ockrim, a consultant colorectal surgeon and Somerset FT’s clinical lead for the Yeovil Community Diagnostic Centre, said: “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 addition, the centre will house a 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 clinical meetings.

Kevin Vickers, director at M&G’s long-lease real estate team, added: “We are delighted to support the NHS by funding this new diagnostic centre.

“By using private sector finance to fund public sector projects, it is proof that effective partnerships like this can help to stretch the public purse and enable further societal benefits.

“In addition, the provision of patient capital for this project also benefits the millions of savers on whose behalf we invest, through the generation of sustainable long-term returns for their pension funds.”

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