Thousands of patients in Stockton-on-Tees are set to benefit from faster access to tests, scans and scans – with a new community diagnostic center due to open later this year.
The one-stop-shop will be at the heart of the community within Castlegate Shopping Center and will be operational by winter 2023, with hundreds of patients appointed daily to receive faster access to life-saving treatment and diagnostic tests.
The new center will deliver up to 104,000 potentially life-saving scans, scans and tests annually when fully operational. The site will provide a number of diagnostic functions including:
- MRI scans
- Computed tomography scans
- Ultrasound examinations
- heart disease.
- X ray
- blood tests and
- Respiratory examinations
Diagnostic services, including cancer screening, have been affected by the pandemic. The CDC is helping get the NHS back on track, ensuring patients get the diagnosis and treatment they need as quickly as possible. In the North East and Yorkshire, 14 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are currently running and have provided more than 257,000 tests, screenings and scans. This includes MRI and CT scans, blood tests and checks for a range of conditions such as cancer, heart and lung disease.
The total number of approved Community Development Centers is 134, with 89 operating out of which 14 are in the North East and Yorkshire. This represents more than 80% of the government’s commitment to open up to 160 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct up to 9 million additional tests per year by 2025.
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said:
This new Community Diagnostic Center will offer up to 104,000 tests, scans and scans per annum from January 2024 at Castlegate Shopping Center in Stockton-on-Tees. It will help thousands of local people easily access life-saving tests and get the treatment they need as easily as possible.
Deposit Centers are part of our plan to end the Covid backlog and reduce wait times, with more than 2.7 million checks delivered through these new one-stop stores since July 2021. We are on track to open up to 160 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nationwide by By 2025, up to nine million additional tests will be conducted annually.
Easier and faster access to tests for diseases such as cancer can lead to earlier diagnosis and faster treatment, and better outcomes for patients. New data shows that department stores, backed by £2.3 billion of government funding, have provided more than 2.7 million tests, scans and scans since July 2021, helping to break the Covid backlog, speeding up access to services for patients and reducing waiting times. In October, the CDC delivered 116% of all diagnostic activities, an important step in achieving the CDC’s ambition of 40% of diagnoses by 2025.
Health Secretary Will Quince said:
We are relentlessly focused on addressing waiting lists and breaching Covid backlogs; The new Community Diagnostic Center in Stockton will help patients benefit from rapid access to life-saving treatment and diagnostic tests close to home.
These new facilities, which include MRI, CT and X-ray machines, will see patients across Teesside receive up to 104,000 life-saving scans, scans and tests per year right in the heart of the community.”
The NHS has made progress in tackling the Covid backlog, virtually eliminating waiting times of more than two years for treatment – the first target in the Optional Recovery Scheme – and reducing the number of people waiting 18 months for treatment by more than half in a year.
Highest number of patients on record More than 264,000 had their first consultation appointment after an urgent cancer referral from their GP in November 2022. An increase of nearly 25,000 patients from October 2022. After a treatment decision, more than 29,000 patients had their first treatment for cancer in November 2022 , which is the highest level ever.
Phil Woolfull, Clinical Director of Radiology at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said:
This is great news for our residents across the Tees Valley – this Diagnostic Center will help make healthcare accessible to all.
Access to services including MRI and CT scans means patients can get faster health checks outside the hospital and closer to home.
Diagnostic centers have already proven effective across the country – it’s something we and our partners believe is the right option for our population.”
David Riesch, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at NHS Hospitals South Tees Trust, said:
This new center will build on access to existing diagnostic scans for patients at sites across Teesside.”
David Gallagher, Executive Director of Place Delivery (Tees Valley and Central) for ICB’s North East and North Cumbria region, said:
Early patient diagnoses through easier, faster, and more convenient access to the tests we know can significantly improve a patient’s long-term health. Having a health center in the heart of downtown Stockton will help catch cancers and other health issues as quickly as possible, helping us save more lives.”
Cancer diagnoses for tens of thousands of women will also be accelerated after the government pledged an extra £10m to provide for 29 new NHS workers. Breast cancer screening and nearly 70 life-saving upgrades to services in areas where they are most needed.
The lifesaving investment includes 16 new mobile mammography units, 13 additional fixed units, 58 direct remote access upgrades to existing units and 10 software upgrades for ultrasound and x-ray procedures.
These new units and service upgrades will allow more women to be screened earlier improving outcomes for patients. It will focus screening where it is most needed, addressing health disparities and improving diagnosis rates in line with the NHS long-term plan.
This investment will also help provide more accessible NHS services where patients receive care close to home.
It comes as the government has allocated up to £250m to expand emergency departments and get thousands of medically fit patients out of hospitals into community care settings to free up hospital beds and reduce pressure on the NHS. This is on top of the £500m already announced to accelerate hospital discharge, delivering the equivalent of 7,000 extra beds using a mix of virtual hospitals and wards.
Furthermore, the government is setting aside up to £14.1 billion of funding available for health and social care over the next two years to improve urgent and emergency care and tackle the backlog – the highest spending on health and social care in any government’s history. .