The opening of the carbon-neutral Canon Medical Arena in Sheffield not only provides a state-of-the-art sports facility but also integrates a Medical Diagnostic Centre, aiming to improve healthcare access and address health inequalities in the city and South Yorkshire region.
The construction of the arena has been made carbon-neutral through the support of CO2Balance and the delivery of wind turbines in India, which has created carbon credits. This demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of the facility.
Situated on Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, the Canon Medical Arena, previously known as Park Community Arena, was developed in collaboration with PCA Ltd, Sheffield Sharks, and The LivingCare Group. The 5000m² arena includes the Medical Diagnostic Centre, which utilizes advanced Canon Medical imaging systems such as AI-assisted CT and MRI scanners, ultrasound, digital X-ray, and fluoroscopy. The center also has consulting rooms and a minor surgery operating theatre.
Sheffield faces significant challenges in areas such as life expectancy, healthy life expectancy, education, unemployment, and housing. The city currently experiences a 20-year difference in life expectancy between the best and worst off, and it is estimated that 20% of deaths in Sheffield could be prevented by addressing factors such as obesity, physical inactivity, and environmental pollution.
The integration of the Medical Diagnostic Centre within the community arena not only aims to improve healthcare access and address these inequalities but also expands community access to affordable sports, education, and wellbeing facilities. This promotes healthier lifestyles and increased physical activity, supporting a preventative approach to healthcare.
Additionally, the initiative aligns with national health strategies to create ‘one-stop-shops’ for healthcare checks, scans, and tests outside of hospitals. This helps to provide additional capacity for imaging procedures and alleviate waiting list backlogs, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mark Hitchman, managing director of Canon Medical Systems UK, emphasizes the importance of addressing inequalities in wellness that are still determined by socio-economic factors. He believes that the Canon Medical Arena can serve as a catalyst for societal change, bringing healthcare and wellbeing closer to the Sheffield community and supporting the NHS’ preventative aims.
Helen White, managing director of The LivingCare Group, highlights the aim of providing outstanding diagnostic healthcare to patients while creating jobs and supporting the training of future healthcare workforces. The Canon Medical Arena, with LivingCare’s involvement, is intended to be a source of pride for the city.
Overall, the opening of the Canon Medical Arena with its integrated Medical Diagnostic Centre represents a significant step towards improving healthcare access, addressing health inequalities, and promoting sustainable practices in Sheffield.