Building work is underway on a new diagnostic hub at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton.
The new hub, located on the hospital’s former ward 15, will provide state-of-the-art facilities for patients undergoing urology and endoscopy procedures when it opens in the summer of 2022.
The new development is just the latest in a series of clinically-led changes at the Friarage over the last 18-months which have included:
- The creation of a new eye outpatients department.
- A new rapid diagnostic centre to support patients with non-specific (vague) symptoms that may be due to cancer.
- A new renal unit to dialyse up to 10 patients, reducing the need for them to travel to Middlesbrough or Darlington for dialysis.
The start of work on the hospital’s new diagnostic hub will be followed next week by the removal of disused buildings on the site which were built more than 70 years ago.
The redundant buildings (the old physiotherapy and education blocks) were built during the Second World War and, as well as reducing maintenance, heating and other costs which can be recycled into frontline patient services, their removal will clear the way for more developments at the hospital in the future.
These include plans to replace the Friarage’s aging theatre block with new modern operating theatres. The plans for the new theatre block will go through regional and national business case development, assurance and approval processes before they can be given the go-ahead.
The removal of the old physiotherapy and education blocks will get underway on 11 October and work is expected to take eight weeks to complete.
Dr James Dunbar, is the Chair of the Friarage and community services clinical collaborative at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He said: “When it opens next year, the new diagnostic hub will improve the experience of patients who will be able to receive their procedures on the same day and avoid the need to book separate appointments on different days.
“The removal of the old and dilapidated war-time buildings is long overdue. The age of the blocks means they are beyond repair but still cost the hospital money to heat and maintain. Taking them down will mean this money can be redirected to patient services and ensure the site is ready for future developments.”