The site of a former fire service building in Taunton is set to be transformed into a new hospital facility.

The building was set to be used to handle regional 999 calls yet that never materialised, and having been derelict since 2007 plans have now been approved by Somerset West and Taunton Council to bring forward a new healthcare facility.

Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust – who’re speaking at our upcoming Healthcare Property Conference – will create a new diagnostic centre as the trust brings forward to plans in partnership with Rutherford Diagnostics.

A spokesman for the trust said: “In the last four years, the trust has experienced a continuing increase in the number of patients requiring diagnostic tests as part of their referral pathway. In addition, the trust is located on a landlocked site which means there are limited options for on-site expansion. The delivery of a new diagnostic centre and imaging service will be part of a longer-term, system-wide approach to provide a sustainable solution for the population of Somerset, delivering improved value for money, patient experience and national access standards.”

The ground floor of the building will be converted to create the diagnostic centre, including two MRI scanners, two CT scanners, an X-ray facility and an ultrasound facility. The first and second floors will be used as offices, meeting rooms and for general training.

Anna-Mari Galliott, the council’s planning officer, said: “The building offers the opportunity to extend both the scope and scale of these services. This will take significant numbers of patients, who do not need to be on a hospital site, away from congested and space-restricted hospital estates – reducing congestion and allowing hospitals to re-utilise space to improve clinical outcomes. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has also supported the change, describing the new centre as “a valuable new service for the people of Somerset… [and] an excellent use for this building which is currently vacant and un-used.”

If you have an interest in Healthcare Estates and Property then this conference is a must attend: