Community Diagnostic Centres
Shropshire’s first Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) is on track to open its doors to patients in the summer.
The new centre, located in Telford, will see elective diagnostic tests delivered away from the acute hospital sites and separately from urgent diagnostic scans.
It will reduce waiting times for non-urgent tests and reduce the risk of cancellation, improving patient experience and outcomes, whilst at the same time bring more capacity into the system to reduce pressure on other services.
The CDC will now provide even more services than originally set out, including Echocardiograms, Lung Functioning Tests, Basic Sleep Studies, and Long COVID Clinics.
Other services will include:
- CT (a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around the body)
- Non-Obstetric Ultrasound Scans (non-invasive scans)
- ECG (Electrocardiograms)
- Phlebotomy (blood tests) with some on site point of care sample analysis.
The centre will be sited at Hollinswood House in Telford, which is currently undergoing a complete interior redesign to ensure it is fit for purpose and able to accommodate future demand.
Frequently Asked Questions
The principle behind this national initiative is to create ‘one stop shops’ across the country, away from hospitals, so that patients can receive lifesaving checks close to their homes.
By separating elective diagnostics from urgent work, we can reduce waits and cancellations, ensuring patients get better quality services.
This is a real partnership effort, involving pretty much every organisation linked to the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System (ICS).
It includes public health colleagues from Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council, as well as diagnostics providers including Shropshire Community Health, The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) and The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RJAH). It also involves colleagues from NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.
Absolutely not! Indeed, there will need to be significant investment to deliver the programme of CDCs that we envisage. We are delighted to say that we have already secured funding of more than £6 million to begin a pilot project in Hadley Park or Hortonwood, in Telford.
We have been successful in a bid to NHS England and Improvement. We have been awarded £4 million for capital costs associated with the pilot, and more than £2.1 million for revenue costs.
Telford has been identified as an area where demand for diagnostic services are amongst the greatest in STW, and where health inequalities are amongst the most severe.
It should be noted that the Telford site will serve our population across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, giving all the opportunity to benefit from more timely elective diagnostic treatment.
We want to talk to people about this and understand what they would like to see. Our ambition is to see services provided in all corners of STW. This could mean a new CDC in the south of Shropshire (maybe in Ludlow), one in the north (in Whitchurch or Oswestry) and one in the county town of Shrewsbury.
The Community Diagnostic Centre programme covers a period of up to five years.
We want these centres to be real ‘one-stop shops’ for health services, providing not just diagnostic scans but other vital services as well. We want our communities to help us shape this vision. Early on, we ran a programme of engagement to ask people what they like about diagnostic services in STW, what could be better and how we could make the most of the proposed centres.
We already have a clear picture of what people can expect to see in the centre in terms of diagnostic services. This falls into three areas:
1. Imaging: CT, MRI, Ultrasound and Plain X-ray / DEXA (an imaging test to measure bone density).
2. Physiological measurement: Electrocardiogram (ECG), including 24 hour and longer tape recordings of heart rhythm, monitoring, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, echocardiography (ECHO), oximetry, spirometry including reversibility testing for inhaled bronchodilators, Fractional exhaled nitric oxide ( FeNO), exhaled carbon monoxide, full lung function tests, blood gas analysis via Point of Care Testing (POCT).
3. Pathology: phlebotomy, Point of Care Testing, simple biopsies, NT Pro BNP (a blood test used to detect heart failure), urine testing and D dimer testing (a blood test to rule out a serious blood clot).
4. Endoscopy: used to investigate unusual symptoms, to perform certain types of surgery or to carry out biopsies (removing a small sample of tissue for analysis).
Our proposal is that the centre is developed alongside the planned community renal dialysis unit.
As part of our pilot project proposal, we committed to an ‘early adopter’ imaging pod on the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. This is a standalone unit close to the Copthorne Building, which will provide elective diagnostics only, while urgent scanning continues inside the hospital. This pod will provide CT and MRI scans.
It will run for 12 hours a day and allow for the RSH to increase its capacity by up to 336 patients a week.