Diagnostic checks rolled out to 160 sites under CDC programme

  • 17th April 2024
  • Latest statistics show sites have already delivered more than seven million tests, checks, and scans across England
  • CDC programme is backed by part of £2.3bn – the largest cash investment in MRI and CT scanning capacity in the history of the NHS
  • Services play a vital role in speeding up diagnosis and treatment, helping to further reduce pressure on hospitals

Patients can now benefit from vital tests, checks, and scans being delivered at 160 sites across England as part of the CDC programme, Health and Social Care Secretary, Victoria Atkins, announced this week.

Based in shopping centres and university campuses, as well as NHS hospitals, CDCs play a vital role in identifying and treating illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.

The Government pledged to roll out additional diagnostic tests and scans from a network of 160 sites across the country by March 2025 as part of the CDC programme.

And, almost a year ahead of the original target date, the CDC programme is now delivering activity on all 160 sites.

The rollout is helping to reduce pressure on hospitals and allow for speedier diagnoses, so patients receive potentially-life-saving care sooner.

The latest statistics show that patients have already benefited from over seven million tests, checks and scans delivered through CDC funding across England.

Atkins said: “We know early diagnosis and treatment are vital, and by rolling out additional tests, checks, and scans at 160 sites, we’re improving health outcomes for millions of NHS patients across England.

“We’re delivering record diagnostic tests, record levels of investment, and embracing the latest technology across the NHS to deliver care to people when and where they need it.

“We remain determined to deliver our long-term plans to cut waiting lists, reduce pressures, and make the NHS faster, simpler and fairer for patients.”

Health Minister, Andrew Stephenson, added: “Having visited several CDCs up and down the country, I know how important it is for patients’ health and reassurance to get a speedy diagnosis.

“By rolling out additional services at 160 sites, we’re making it quicker and easier than ever for patients to undergo these important checks.”

The CDC programme provides increased diagnostic capacity across services including MRI and CT scanning equipment, X-ray, audiology, and endoscopy, as well as respiratory tests and phlebotomy services.

These are used for diagnosis and monitoring of a wide range of conditions, including cancer, heart disease, respiratory diseases, musculoskeletal diseases, and neurological conditions.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, author of an independent review of diagnostic services in the NHS, said: “The NHS has made great progress in establishing community diagnostic centres, which were a key recommendation in my 2020 report.

“Demand for diagnostic tests continues to rise and these new facilities, which amount to the biggest central cash investment in MRI and CT capacity in the history of the NHS, are providing much-needed additional capacity.

“From my visits around the country, I have seen how much they are appreciated both by patients and NHS staff.”

Last month, Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, announced further investment in the sector, promising 100 new AI-fitted MRI scanners that will help doctors deliver results more quickly and accurately to 130,000 patients every year.

These will be funded through the landmark £4.2bn public sector productivity plan, under which the NHS will be given £3.4bn to double its investment in digital transformation, including IT upgrades and AI investment.

Patients can be referred to CDCs via their GP or acute consultant, and healthcare staff use CT scanners, MRI scanners, and other new diagnostic equipment to diagnose a range of health conditions.


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