SOUTHEND councillors are expected to give the green light to a new hospital building which will house state-of-the-art cancer detecting equipment.

The hospital, in Prittlewell Chase, wants to house a scanner in a new building.

The new scanner, will be able to identify cancerous cells much quicker than a normal scan. It could eventually be used by up to 12 patients a day.

The hospital had applied for permission to put up the new centre, and a report from Southend Council officers has recommended councillors approve the plan, provided the facility is removed after five years.

The hospital has only applied for the building to be put up temporarily, as it is believed the equipment can be moved into the main hospital later as part of an upgrade programme.

Westcliff GP and Westborough ward councillor Marimuthu Velmurugan said: “Southend Hospital is coping incredibly well with budget cuts and has escaped problems seen at some other hospitals.

“To have this new equipment will make it even better, reducing pressures on staff and will give patients the best treatment available.”

Perry Hegarty, the hospital trust’s senior project manager, said: “The building will house a scanner and associated clinical, reception and waiting areas. At present, people, mainly cancer patients, have to travel to a range of other NHS sites in order to receive this scan.

“The closest are in Basildon and Colchester where services are provided one day a week by a mobile scanner.

“The new unit will increase the capacity of scans in the area and provide a five-day-a-week service."

The building would be 8.6m wide by 18.5m and 3.4m high.

Four new car parking spaces would be created alongside it.