NHS England will create ‘one-stop shops’ for a range of diagnostic tests, spread across the country.
Community diagnostic hubs are one of the key recommendations of Professor Sir Mike Richards in his review of diagnostics under the NHS Long Term Plan. Recommendations of the review are:
- Tests for emergency and elective diagnostics should be separate, to reduce hold-ups for patients
- CT scanning capacity should be doubled over the next five years to meet increasing demand and to match other developed countries
- Tests for heart and lung diseases need to be enhanced given the link to coronavirus
- More staff need to be trained to undertake screening colonoscopies
- The imaging workforce needs to be expanded as soon as possible with 2,000 additional radiologists and 4,000 radiographers as well as other support staff
Professor Sir Mike Richards said:
“The pandemic has brought into sharper focus the need to overhaul the way our diagnostic services are delivered. While these changes will take time and investment in facilities and more staff, it is the right moment to seize the opportunities to assist recovery and renewal of the NHS.
“Not only will these changes make services more accessible and convenient for patients but they will help improve outcomes for patients with cancer and other serious conditions.”
The new hubs could be established in vacant high street buildings, or in car parks, and are an opportunity to improve access to much-needed tests for patients.
Read NHS England’s press release for more information.