A network of new community diagnostic centres (CDCs) have delivered more than two million vital tests, checks, and scans, helping to address the COVID-19 backlog.
The one-stop shops, backed by £2.3billion of government funding, offer a range of services in the heart of communities, making tests more accessible for patients.
Based in community settings such as shopping centres and football stadiums, the hubs house a range of cutting-edge equipment, including MRI, CT, X-ray, and ultrasound scanners and offer additional services such as blood tests and heart rhythm and blood pressure monitoring.
And they are designed to speed up diagnosis of conditions ranging from cancer to heart or lung disease.
As set out in the Government’s Plan for Patients, published in September, 160 of these centres will be operational in England by 2025, delivering up to nine million additional tests, checks, and scans every year.
We know rapid diagnosis saves lives, and it is great news that more of these centres have been approved to provide checks and scans in the heart of local communities, making services more accessible and convenient
So far, 92 CDCs have opened across the country, with Health and Care Secretary, Thérèse Coffey, announcing another 10 earlier this week.
Speeding up diagnosis
Coffey said: “My number one priority is delivering for patients and we’re getting on with the job of tackling the issues that affect people most – ambulances, backlogs, care, doctors, and dentists.
“Today I’m announcing the approval of 10 new community diagnostic centres, which are helping to bust the COVID-19 backlogs by delivering vital tests, checks, and scans in local areas.
“They have delivered over two million checks over the past year, diagnosing conditions from cancer to lung disease – and we’re on track to open up to 160 centres across the country by 2025.”
NHS medical director for transformation, Vin Diwakar, added: “It is testament to the hard work of staff across the NHS that we have now delivered more than two million tests and checks at our one-stop shops, and latest figures show we have the lowest number of patients waiting for tests and checks since we published our elective recovery plan in February.
“We know rapid diagnosis saves lives, and it is great news that more of these centres have been approved to provide checks and scans in the heart of local communities, making services more accessible and convenient while also helping to improve outcomes for patients with cancer and other serious conditions.”
My number one priority is delivering for patients and we’re getting on with the job of tackling the issues that affect people most – ambulances, backlogs, care, doctors, and dentists
The 10 approved new centres will be rolled out across the country, including in the Isle of Wight, Burnley, and Medway in Kent.
Once referred by a GP, pharmacist or hospital, patients can access CDCs in their local area and get any concerning symptoms checked out.
Thanks to these innovative approaches, significant progress has already been made on tackling waiting lists, with the NHS virtually eliminating waits of over two years for routine treatment as part of the first milestone in its elective recovery plan.