CDCs have delivered over four million checks, tests and scans for patients across the country since July 2021, cutting waiting lists and giving patients quicker access to care.
The government is showing progress on its promise to open 160 of the facilities by March 2025, with a further eight due to open before the end of the year, the Health and Social Care Secretary has today confirmed. These will provide capacity for more than 742,000 extra tests a year once fully operational, bolstering access to care.
The government is investing £2.3 billion to transform diagnostic services, with 108 CDCs already up and running and a further 41 due to open. They have opened in a range of settings since the programme started in July 2021, including shopping centres and university campuses.
GPs can refer patients to a centre so they can access life-saving checks closer to home and be diagnosed for a range of conditions, rather than travelling to hospital. The centres are not only more convenient for patients but are also more efficient for staff and free up clinicians’ time to help further cut the waiting lists.
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said:
These new centres will benefit tens of thousands of patients, cutting out unnecessary hospital visits and delivering closer, more convenient care.
Patients will be able to access a range of life-saving tests, including MRI scans, X-rays, and respiratory checks – speeding up the diagnosis of illnesses like cancer and heart disease.
We have already made significant progress in bringing down waiting lists – one of the government’s top five priorities – and community diagnostic centres are a key part of this, with over four million vital checks delivered so far.
Scarborough Gateway CDC: this will open in the town centre near Scarborough train station in December 2023 and offer 91,000 additional checks a year once fully operational.
Scarborough CDC (Ripon) will open at Ripon Community Hospital in the same month, and will have capacity for 27,000 checks a year once up and running.
Oldham CDC (South East Manchester) will open at the Crown Point Retail Park in Denton, Greater Manchester in December 2023, and offer 129,000 extra tests a year when all services are live.
Manchester and Trafford CDC (North Manchester) – this will open in Harpurhey in December 2023 and offer 41,000 tests when fully operational.
Clacton CDC (Bluebird Lodge) – this will open at the Bluebird Lodge community hospital in Ipswich in December 2023 and carry out 24,000 extra tests once up and running.
Plymouth CDC – this will open in the town in September 2023 and offer the capacity for 89,000 tests when services are live.
North Lincolnshire CDC (Grimsby) – this facility will open in Grimsby in December 2023 and have the capacity to deliver 142,000 tests.
Hull and East Riding CDC – this will open in the city in December 2023 and have the capacity to deliver 199,000 tests.
NHS national director of elective recovery, Sir James Mackey, said:
These ‘one-stop shops’ play a key role the NHS’s elective recovery plan, and the new CDCs are a welcome addition to more than 100 existing community diagnostic centres, which have already delivered more than four million tests and checks.
Our elective recovery plan set out how the NHS will deliver nine million more tests and checks per year by 2025, and the work of these diagnostic centres – some in convenient spots including shopping centres – are excellent examples of the innovative work being done across the health service to ensure patients get the tests and checks they need as quickly as possible.
Other steps are being taken to bust the backlogs and boost patient choice. Last month, the government announced that patients will be empowered to choose where they receive hospital care. Currently just 1 in 10 patients exercise their right to choose but research shows that giving patients choice can cut up to 3 months off their waiting time by selecting a different hospital in the same region.
The NHS successfully met the first target in its Elective Recovery Plan to virtually eliminate waits of over two years and has cut 18 month waits by over 91% from the peak in September 2021.
There are already record numbers of people working in the NHS overall, and the NHS will shortly publish a long term workforce plan setting out plans to recruit and retain more staff. All of this is backed by up to £14.1 billion for health and social care over the next two years, on top of record funding.