Rutherford Diagnostics has announced construction of its new diagnostics centre in Taunton has commenced. The centre will provide access to state-of-the-art diagnostic services for the people of Somerset.
The facility will be built at the disused Zenith Fire Control Centre on Blackbrook Park Avenue and is expected to become operational by late 2021. Rutherford Diagnostics has selected Kier as the preferred contractor for the works.
Rutherford Health Ltd, the parent company of Rutherford Diagnostics, hopes to construct five diagnostics centres across the UK as part of an investment agreement with Equitix Limited, a leading investor, developer and long-term fund manager of core infrastructure assets in the UK and Europe.
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The centre in Taunton will be the first such facility for Rutherford Diagnostics and will offer Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Ultrasound, X-Ray and other relevant diagnostic services.
Rutherford Diagnostics has also agreed a partnership with Somerset NHS Foundation Trust which will see the centre providing its services to the Trust for 10 years. The centre will also be available to private medical insurance and self-pay patients in the South West.
Dr Steven Powell, Chief Diagnostics Officer at Rutherford Diagnostics, said: “We are very pleased to commence work on the construction of the centre with Kier as our main contractor. The centre will be a vital addition to the region’s diagnostic capacity. Diagnostics centres such as ours are all the more important now given the impact of Covid-19 on testing and screening for various diseases. This centre will play an important role in increasing the amount of diagnostic tests that are available to patients across Somerset, supporting earlier diagnosis when it is operational in late 2021.”
David Shannon, Somerset NHS Foundation Trust’s director of strategic development and improvement, said: “We are very pleased to see that the state-of-the-art Rutherford Diagnostics facility in Taunton has progressed to the construction phase.
“It will mean that many of our patients will be able to receive their diagnostic tests at another modern facility away from the excellent unit at Musgrove Park Hospital. We have also agreed with Rutherford Diagnostics that there will be exciting opportunities for our colleagues to work at the new centre while maintaining their employment with us.
“Across the NHS more patients are being referred for specialist diagnostic tests. In an effort to keep pace with this growing demand, we have also recently invested in additional and upgraded MRI and CT scanners at Musgrove Park Hospital.
“But even with these measures, our provision of scanning will not keep pace with demand in the future. Our waiting times for some diagnostic tests are too long which has been made even more challenging during the pandemic. We want to do better for our patients and believe that our partnership with Rutherford Diagnostics will help us to do this.”