A HUGE medical centre is set to be built near Pitsea Market as part of a major plan to cut NHS waiting times across south Essex. 

Thousands of patients across south Essex will benefit from a new “community diagnostic centre” set to open in Pitsea.

The new site aims to cut waiting lists and will offer patients a wider range of tests, including CT and MRI scans, closer to home and help patients avoid visiting a hospital. 

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The community diagnostic centre won’t open until the end of 2024, however, a temporary location is set to be provided later this year using mobile units in a car park near to Basildon train station.

Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon, and East Thurrock, said: “It is fantastic to see a new facility for the area.

“Community diagnostic centres are more convenient for patients and more efficient for the NHS.

“If we are going to cut the waiting lists that have increased since the pandemic, these centres are the way to do it.”

Following a referral from a GP or consultant, patients will be able to get their symptoms checked much closer to home and receive a diagnosis for a range of conditions, such as cancer and heart or lung disease, rather than travelling to hospital.

Andrew Baggott, Conservative councillor, and leader of Basildon Council said: “It is massively exciting.

“I First of all, it provides really positive health outcomes for residents, and it also means that the number of visitors they anticipate getting that can only be good for the economy too.

“We are really excited to welcome the arrival of both of these centres, temporary and permanent.”

Luke Mackenzie, Conservative councillor responsible for Pitsea South East, added: “This will be a fantastic facility for Pitsea and will hopefully see quicker diagnosis times, getting people in the treatment they need quicker.

“I know this facility is very much needed and my fellow ward councillors and I will work with the NHS to help get it delivered.”

The centre will provide up to 46,000 tests, checks, and scans a year.

It will boost the number of endoscopy rooms in the region for cancer patients and offer potentially life-saving CT and MRI scans.

A Mid and South Essex NHS Hospital Trust spokesman added: “While we wait for the planning processes for the permanent centre, we are seeking permission to provide CT scans, MRI scans, and an endoscopy unit via a temporary solution in Basildon.”