(Updated June 2022)
The first Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin (STW) is on track to be completed by the end of this year.
It will see elective diagnostic tests delivered away from acute hospital sites and separately from urgent diagnostic scans. The facility will receive patient referrals for people wherever they live in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and will help reduce waiting times for non-urgent tests and the risk of cancellations, improving patient experience and outcomes.
George Cooper, Programme Director, said: “Our local teams have already made great progress in ramping scans and tests back up to pre-pandemic levels, and this new investment will help us go even further – while also providing a more convenient option for patients.
“We’re now in the final stages of this exciting development which we plan to open to patients early next year. This includes agreeing the lease of a suitable property within Telford, securing all the utilities, preparing the interior, procuring the required equipment, and staff recruitment.
“Once open, GPs will be able to refer patients to the centre so they can access lifesaving checks and be diagnosed for a range of conditions without needing to travel to hospital. This will be convenient for patients, more efficient and reduce the risk of cancelled tests in hospitals due to further waves of COVID-19.”
The Centre, funded by the UK Government, 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 and cancer
- a reduction in hospital visits for diagnostic tests which will help to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission
- greater patient convenience and contribution to the NHS’ net zero ambitions by providing multiple tests at one visit, reducing the number of patient journeys and helping to cut carbon emissions and air pollution.
- The proposal is to transform diagnostic services through the introduction of CDCs based on a national recommendation following Sir Mike Richards’ review of diagnostic capacity (2020).
- Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin has been successful in being allocated £4.5 million of capital funding from the government to develop and open the first CDC in the Telford area. The capital funding is backed up by an initial revenue fund of more than £2.4 million.
- Why Telford? Telford is within 10% of the most deprived areas in England and Wales meaning it is a location with high health inequalities.
- What do people think about it? Early engagement work took place, with nearly 1,300 responses to our questionnaire which fed into the business case:
- Four out of five people (80%) agreed that there is a need for CDCs in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
- 82% of people agreed the NHS should invest in CDCs
- 76% of people stated that it would make it easier for patients to access services.
- What will be included in a CDC? Proposed services and equipment in our first CDC include:
- CT (a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around the body)
- Non Obstetric Ultrasound Scans (non-invasive scans)
- Plain X-Ray
- ECG (Electrocardiograms)
- Clinic rooms
- Phlebotomy (blood tests).
- Working groups are meeting regularly. These include: Workforce; Estates; Digital; and Clinical (pathways design).
- The CDC will be sited in Stafford Park 1 in the TF3 area of Telford, approximately 1 mile from the town centre. The site is accessible by public transport (bus and train) and has good car parking.
- Subject to further engagement with stakeholders and NHSEI, we propose to extend the range of services available at Telford as well as proposing three further CDCs in the county over the next few years (North Shropshire, South Shropshire and Shrewsbury).
Please take a look at the documents below to find out more about our community diagnostic centres: