Approval Given for New Diagnostic Unit at West Mid

Centre aims to reduce pressure on the hospital's emergency department

A visualisation of the new centre in Isleworth. Picture: Aecom

January 13, 2023

Plans by West Middlesex Hospital build a brand-new centre to tackle increasing patient demand and expand A&E services have been approved by Hounslow Council’s planning committee.

Councillors voted in favour of the scheme at a borough planning meeting on Thursday 12 January.

Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust wants to build a brand-new Ambulatory Diagnostic Centre at the site. The new service will be mainly for outpatients to cut pressure elsewhere at the busy hospital in Isleworth, according to planning documents submitted to Hounslow Council in July 2022.

The hospital has over 400 beds and provides emergency care and other services. The NHS Trust says a new building is needed to modernise and expand the hospital.

The NHS Trust says in documents submitted with its application, “The [diagnostic centre] will allow for the relocation of existing services provided at this hospital site along with the expansion of services to meet growing demand.”

A report by council officers to Hounslow Council’s planning committee which urged approval of the application, adds, “The healthcare needs of the population are changing and the existing hospital buildings in the wider [hospital] are not able to adapt or extended to enable a sufficient level of quality.”

The new building will stand on a site which currently has a small MRI and renal unit, as well as drop-off spaces.

Seven residents objected to the plan and one addressed the meeting saying it should be rejected on the grounds of right to light for local residents and the impact the buildings would have on the local conservation area. Concerns were raised that continued expansion of the hospital would result in a building of a multi-storey car park on the site.

Leaseholders and residents of Hepple Close said, “The proposal, due to its height and proximity, would harm the amenities of neighbouring residential properties, including outlook, daylight, sunlight, privacy and light pollution.”

Map showing the location of the new centre
Map showing the location of the new centre

Historic England has said they have “serious concerns” about the impact of the new building on local landscapes, especially Syon Park, and has asked that the design be developed although it did conclude that the harm done was ‘less than substantial’.

The organisation said, “The Grade I registered Syon Park is of exceptional significance, particularly because of the surviving eighteenth-century landscape, which can be well appreciated. The proposal would harm the ability to appreciate the significance of the park by appearing prominently in the backdrop of an important vista.”

The new diagnostic centre is set to have four X-Ray machines, seven ultrasound scanners, three MRI and two CT scanners. There will also be 24 dialysis spaces, of which, 2 are isolation rooms with lobbies, plus there will be 18 Chemotherapy spaces, according to planning documents.

The hospital hopes expanding and getting new equipment will help it run smoothly as the local population grows. The NHS Trust says that the new building will ‘improve the environment and overall experience for patients’.

The new diagnostic centre, which will employ 150 full-time staff, will allow the hospital to modernise and expand key services like A&E. Planning documents add, “By diverting patients away from hospital, the centre will help urgent care patients receive the care they need in a timely manner.”

The planning committee unanimously voted in favour of the application with some conditions added concerning boundary treatment and extra cycle parking.

Written with contributions from Megan Stanley - Local Democracy reporter


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