Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs)

Community Diagnostic Centre - Oldham

Patients across Oldham and the surrounding area are set to benefit from earlier diagnostic testing closer to home, thanks to £4.5m of investment in a new Community Diagnostic Centre due to open in Summer 2022.

Successful collaborative working between the NCA, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, Oldham Council and NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group has resulted in the team receiving a share of the £350 million national investment fund to create one of 40 new Community Diagnostic Centres across England.

In the first phase, the Oldham centre at Salmon Fields, Royton will be able to provide a full range of diagnostic imaging technology and lung tests. And through collaboration with The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, the facility will also provide patients with access to PET-CT scans, which they currently have to travel to either South Manchester or Wigan to access.

Community Diagnostic Centre Artwork - May 2022.jpg
Artist Impression of the new Community Diagnostic Centre in Oldham

One Stop Shop Diagnostic Tests

The new one-stop-shops for checks, scans and tests will provide a combined 1.5 million scans across England in their first full year of operation, with an estimated 30,000 patients seen at the Oldham facility.

The new Community Diagnostic Centre is a fantastic new development that signifies innovation, cutting edge technology and shorter waiting times for patients. The centre will make diagnostic tests more convenient and will deliver multiple tests for patients all on the same day, away from our main hospital site. This will help the NCA to deliver on our ambition to diagnose disease at an earlier stage and improve the chances of successful treatment for patients.

The announcement marks the first stage of delivering the NCA’s wider Community Diagnostics strategy, with additional centres being developed in Salford to deliver imaging, pathology and cardio-respiratory diagnostics services.

What are Community Diagnostic Centres?

Community Diagnostic Centres are one stop shops that are being created across the country to deliver MRI, CT and other diagnostic services to patients away from hospitals, so that patients can receive life-saving checks closer to home.

These changes will make diagnostic services more accessible and convenient and will help improve outcomes for patients with cancer and other serious conditions.

Why are Community Diagnostic Centres being developed?

The creation of CDCs was recommended following Professor Sir Mike Richards’ Review of NHS diagnostics capacity as part of the NHS Long Term Plan

The recommendation was that NHS organisations across England move to providing diagnostic services in Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) and all health systems are expected to include a network of CDCs as part of their health offer.

The review’s proposals will help save lives and improve people’s quality of life for health conditions including cancer, stroke, heart disease and respiratory conditions.

The CDCs will allow patients to access planned diagnostic care nearer to home without the need to attend acute hospital sites.  These services will be separate to urgent diagnostic scan facilities, which means shorter waiting times and a reduced risk of cancellation, which can happen when more urgent cases take priority. This will lead to an improved experience and better outcome for patients.

The CDCs will help the NHS achieve the following ambitions:

  • To improve population health outcomes by diagnosing health conditions earlier, faster and more accurately.
  • To increase capacity in the diagnostic service by investing in new facilities, equipment and training new staff, contributing to recovery from COVID-19 and reducing pressure on acute hospital sites.
  • To improve productivity and efficiency by streamlining the way we provide acute and elective (planned) diagnostic services where it makes sense to do so; redesigning clinical pathways to reduce unnecessary steps, tests or duplication.
  • To contribute to a reduction in health inequalities by ensuring everyone has the same access to care and the same health outcomes.
  • To deliver a better diagnostic service and more personalised experience by providing a single point of access to a range of services in the community.
  • To support more joined-up care across primary, community and secondary care.

The health systems across the North West of England have developed plans for the next three years to implement CDCs within each individual system to create additional capacity.

How will Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) benefit patients?

Community Diagnostic Centres will provide a number of benefits for patients including:

  • Transformed care pathways enabling patients to have multiple tests on the same day in the same place, bringing a ‘one stop shop’ model of care to our local communities.
  • Delivering shorter waiting times and more convenient access to diagnostic tests.
  • An overall reduction in hospital visits, helping to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
  • Providing local patients with access to some of the most advanced diagnostic technology available to the NHS.
  • Diagnosing disease at an earlier stage of progression, where chances of successful treatment are improved.
  • Earlier diagnosis of both cancer and cardio-respiratory disease, resulting in improved outcomes for patients.
  • A contribution to the NHS’ net zero ambitions; by providing multiple tests at one visit, this will reduce the number of patient journeys and cut carbon emissions and air pollution.

Rapid diagnosis will save lives and these one-stop shops for checks, scans and tests in the heart of our local communities will not only make services more accessible and convenient for patients; 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.

Where can I find more information?

We will be providing regular updates on progress with the development of the new Community Diagnostic Centre in Oldham, which is scheduled to be launched in Autumn 2022.

You can also find more information on the NHS England website.

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