The facility, which is located just north of Grantham town centre, will be known as the Gonerby Road, Community Diagnostic Centre, and is part of a first wave of 40 Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) set to open across England.
Improving diagnostic capacity is recognised as a priority in the NHS Long-Term Plan, and the new Community Diagnostic Centres will play a crucial role in the delivery of diagnostic services, which will support the delivery of treatments for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.
“Thousands of patients locally and from across the county will benefit from what the new Gonerby Road, Community Diagnostic Centre has to offer, including x-ray and general ultrasound,” says Clair Raybould, Director of Operations, NHS Lincolnshire CCG.
“Given the significant pressure the covid pandemic has placed on the health system locally and nationally, CDCs across the country, including here in Lincolnshire, have a vital role in enabling patients to access services more quickly.
“I am particularly pleased that, by working closely with our partners at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, together we have been able to launch the Gonerby Road Community Diagnostic Centre, which brings the capacity to see 150 patients a day, leading to a significant impact on wait times.”
The site of the new Gonerby Road, Community Diagnostic Centre had previously been used during the height of the covid pandemic to deliver outpatient services away from an acute hospital setting. In its new guise as a CDC it began delivering diagnostic services on Monday 25 April.
“Our amazing team at the Gonerby Road, Community Diagnostic Centre are already two weeks into providing local people with a broad range of diagnostic services, and one of the key advantages of the CDCs are they are located away from our acute hospital sites, which means these sites can concentrate on delivering treatment and care.
“The new CDCs are a key NHS driver to enable patients to access health services like x-ray and ultrasound more easily and more quickly – they are an entirely new model of delivering services for patients where hospital services can be delivered outside of a hospital environment,” explains Dr Karen Dunderdale, Director of Nursing and Deputy CEO, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
“The Gonerby Road, Community Diagnostic Centre is an addition to the services provided by our hospitals and its location makes it easily accessible and allows us to offer even more services to the people of Grantham and surrounding areas.”
Although patients will still be able to choose to access diagnostic services at the hospitals if they prefer, the CDCs will bring multiple benefits in addition to improved access.
“They will also help us to increase the types of diagnostic tests we offer and develop pathways to reduce the time between tests and appointments, helping to improve patient journeys, which is fantastic news for patients,” adds Karen.
“As well as launching this first Community Diagnostic Centre, we are already working hard on the next phase of CDCs in the county and we’re particularly keen to engage with local people, in order to better understand where there is the greatest need to develop the next CDC,” explains Clair.
“At the end of April we launched a survey on potential options for a second CDC location, which will run for eight weeks and is available online – I’d urge anyone interested to complete it, whether you have something to share about your experiences as a patient to-date and/or some thoughts as to the development of future CDCs.”