A NEW diagnostic centre is opening at Stratford Hospital as part of a £34million investment by the NHS.
South Warwickshire CDC will be one of three community diagnostic centres set up in the Coventry and Warwickshire area.
The aim is to deliver shorter waiting times and more convenient access to vital diagnostic procedures such as endoscopy and MRI scans.
This, say local health chiefs, is vital for giving patients the best possible chance of successful treatment for life-threatening conditions such as cancer.
Stratford Hospital has already seen the benefits of new diagnostic equipment throughout 2022 including CT and MRI scan equipment.
This equipment will be moved to a new dedicated building on the hospital site in 2024.
Coventry CDC is also set to open in 2024 and will be made up of two parts, split between Coventry and Rugby.
Warwickshire North CDC is based adjacent to George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton and the new funding will see a further expansion of services including diagnostic tests for cancer and new CT and MRI scanners.
In addition to the CDCs, part of the funding will be used to increase diagnostic capacity across Coventry and Warwickshire in the short term while the CDCs are being built, so patients should start to see the benefits from this investment straight away. Since October 2021, there have been over 73,000 additional diagnostic tests delivered across the system due to the CDC investment.
Patients will be referred for diagnostic procedures at CDCs by their GP.
Glen Burley, chief executive officer South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This extra funding will enable us to improve essential services as we expand the CDC next year.
“We are already seeing more patients in a quicker timeframe. The creation of CDCs has improved patients’ NHS experience by enabling them to be seen quicker and therefore increasing their chances of earlier diagnosis.”
Funding for the three CDCs was secured through a collaborative partnership involving Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care Board, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.
Phil Johns, Chief Executive Officer of Coventry and Warwickshire ICB, said: “This funding is a significant milestone in establishing CDCs and providing more accessible healthcare across Coventry and Warwickshire. The new investment will mean more timely and convenient access to vital and potentially lifesaving diagnostic procedures, which is crucial in ensuring that we are able to find and treat illnesses such as cancer quickly.
“I’m confident that these CDCs will play an important role in improving the health and wellbeing of our local population and I look forward to seeing the positive impact they have in enhancing the quality of healthcare across communities in Coventry and Warwickshire.”