The Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England have announced that 40 new Community Diagnostic Centres will open across England
The centres will be in a range of settings from football clubs to shopping centres and have been designed to be one-stop-shops for checks, scans and tests. The aim is to provide around 2.8 million scans in the first full year of operation.
GPs will be able to refer patients to the centres for diagnostic tests which will be staffed by multi-disciplinary team staff including nurses and radiographers and will be open 7 days a week.
The centres will begin providing services over the next six months and will be fully operational by March 2022.
Professor Mike Osborn, President, The Royal College of Pathologists said:
`We welcome the move to introduce easier access to diagnostic services centred around patients. There will be real benefits to patients with quicker, easier access through a ‘one stop shop’ leading to earlier diagnoses, better outcomes for patients and lives saved.
Investment in these new diagnostic hubs, with sufficient resources in terms of staffing, IT provision and connectivity with other systems (such as GP practices), will support their successful introduction.
There will also need to be further expansion of the pathology workforce, and new ways of working, to manage the increase of referrals for further investigative tests from the new centres.'