The NHS is to open 19 new community diagnostic centres (CDCs) later this year as part of the elective recovery plan.
The centres will perform 1.1 million tests, checks and scans every year, the Government said in a press release.
CDCs are central to the Government’s elective recovery plan and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s priority of reducing NHS waiting lists to tackle the backlogs in the NHS and social care.
According to new data, 92 operational CDCs have already delivered an additional three million checks since the programme started in in July 2021
The ‘one-stop shops’ are backed by £2.3 billion in government funding and based in accessible locations such as shopping centres and football stadiums.
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said:
“Rapid diagnosis offers reassurance to patients, reduces waiting lists, and, crucially, saves lives.
“CDCs have been fundamental to this effort, delivering over three million extra tests which are helping to diagnose conditions from cancer to lung disease more quickly across the country.
“The new centres will take us even further, utilising cutting-edge MRI, CT and X-ray machine to transform the way we deliver care closer to people’s homes helping tens of thousands of people.”
The 19 approved new centres will be rolled out across the country, including Dorset, Milton Keynes and Nottingham.
Following referral by a GP, pharmacist or hospital, patients can access CDCs in their local area to get any concerning symptoms checked out.
Just over a year ago, the Government and NHS launched the Elective Recovery Plan to recover NHS services and give patients greater control over their own health.
Since the plan was announced, 18-month waits have dropped by more than 50 per cent.
NHS National Director of Elective Recovery, Sir James Mackey, said:
“The NHS’s ambitious elective recovery plan, published just over a year ago, had these innovative ‘one stop shops’ at its heart.
“Since then they have played a key role in helping us virtually eliminate the number of people waiting more than two years for treatment and keeping the NHS on track to do the same for people waiting over 18 months by the end of April.
“These 19 new centres will boost access for tens of thousands more patients and build on the great work of NHS staff in recovering services, helping the NHS deliver an extra nine million tests a year by 2025 – an increase in capacity of more than a quarter on pre-pandemic levels.”