As the NHS continues to claw back the backlog, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that the 92 operational community diagnostic centres (CDCs) have delivered nearly three million checks, scans, and tests, with 19 new centres set to open later this year.
The ‘one-stop shops’ are backed by £2.3bn of government funding with the new ones expected to carry out an additional 1.1 million tests, checks, and scans every year in places such as Milton Keynes, Nottingham, and Dorset.
The move will take the number of CDCs that are already operational and are set to be rolled out to 143 – which is more than 80% of the way towards the Government’s commitment to launch 160 CDCs across the country by 2025. This will enable health settings to perform approximately nine million extra test, checks, and scans every year, with CDCs responsible for 5% of all diagnostic activity last November alone.
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “Rapid diagnosis offers reassurance to patients, reduces waiting lists, and, crucially, saves lives. CDCs have been fundamental to this effort, delivering over three million extra tests which are helping to diagnose conditions from cancer to lung disease more quickly across the country.
“The new centres will take us even further, utilising cutting-edge MRI, CT and X-ray machine to transform the way we deliver care closer to people’s homes helping tens of thousands of people.”
NHS National Director of Elective Recovery, Sir James Mackey, added: “The NHS’s ambitious elective recovery plan, published just over a year ago, had these innovative ‘one stop shops’ at its heart.
“Since then they have played a key role in helping us virtually eliminate the number of people waiting more than two years for treatment and keeping the NHS on track to do the same for people waiting over 18 months by the end of April, with the centres – often based in convenient places such as in shopping centres, high streets and community hospitals – now having delivered an incredible three million tests and checks.
“These 19 new centres will boost access for tens of thousands more patients and build on the great work of NHS staff in recovering services, helping the NHS deliver an extra nine million tests a year by 2025 – an increase in capacity of more than a quarter on pre-pandemic levels.”