A new ‘one-stop shop’, offering NHS diagnostic tests, scans and checks closer to home is to be opened in Fleetwood next year.
The community diagnostic centre (CDC) will be based at Fleetwood Health and Wellbeing Centre in Dock Street. It will provide multiple tests away from a hospital site making appointments more convenient for patients, while helping to cut the risk of spreading COVID-19. Fewer patient journeys will also mean lower carbon emissions.
Patients will be referred to the centre, which also aims to reduce the backlog of patients waiting for tests, by their GP. There they will get their symptoms checked and receive a potentially life-saving diagnosis for a range of conditions such as cancer, heart and lung disease more quickly.
Nigel Lewis, Divisional Director of Operations for Clinical Support Services at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The new CDC will play a major role in making potentially life-saving diagnostic tests more easily accessible to people in Fleetwood.
“The one-stop shop approach will reduce the number of appointments people need, helping to diagnose patients faster as well as saving them travel time and expense.
“CDCs also divert patients away from our main hospitals so they can focus on treating urgent patients while the diagnostic centres tackle the backlog of tests.”
The new centre will join a CDC that was opened at Whitegate Health Centre in Blackpool last year which offers X-rays and ultrasound scans.
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals and NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) – the organisation that plans and buys health services for the area – are receiving national funding to deliver the community diagnostic centres across the area.
Three further centres have already been opened across Lancashire and South Cumbria, in Preston, Kendal and Rossendale. The sites have been selected following analysis to determine where CDCs would be most beneficial in reducing waiting lists and tackling health inequalities while making the best use of existing NHS estates.
The development of Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) was a key recommendation of the Richard’s review on NHS Diagnostics services, proposing the need to revolutionise diagnostic services to cope with the huge increase in demand, improve services and patient outcomes and, more recently, to help tackle the backlogs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic