The new centres will offer earlier diagnostic tests to benefit millions of patients closer to home
40 new community diagnostic centres will open across England in a range of settings, from local shopping centres to football stadiums.
The new one-stop shops for checks, scans, and tests will be backed by a £350 million government investment to provide around 2.8 million scans in the first full year of operation.
It is hoped the centres will help achieve earlier diagnoses for patients through easier, faster, and more direct access to the full range of diagnostic tests needed to understand patients’ symptoms, including breathlessness, cancer, and ophthalmology.
The centres will be staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff including nurses and radiographers and will be open 7 days a week.
‘In the heart of local communities’
GPs will be able to refer patients to a centre so they can access life-saving checks closer to home, and be diagnosed for a range of conditions rather than travelling to hospital.
Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive, said:
‘Rapid diagnosis will save lives and these one stop shops for checks, scans and tests in the heart of local communities will not only make services more accessible and convenient for patients, but they will also help us to improve outcomes for patients with cancer and other serious conditions, ultimately sparing more patients and families the pain and trauma of disease.
‘NHS staff have continued to provide routine care, throughout the pandemic, alongside treating around 450,000 seriously ill COVID patients in hospital, and the roll-out of these community diagnostic centres will help us to spot problems sooner, when they are easier to treat.’
The centres will begin providing services over the next six months, with some already up and running, and will be fully operational by March 2022.
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