Community diagnostic centres (CDCs) provide a broad range of elective diagnostics (including checks, scans and tests) away from acute facilities, so reducing pressure on hospitals, providing quicker access to tests and greater convenience to patients. In many cases these will be able to be done in a one stop shop setting. There are currently 13 sites across the region, four in Lancashire and South Cumbria, four in Greater Manchester and five in Cheshire and Merseyside, with additional sites and equipment planned in the long run pending funding.
Diagnostics delivered via a CDC can be done through varying delivery models:
- Standard CDC: Will deliver nationally set minimum diagnostic tests and any other tests deemed a priority locally
- Large CDC: Will deliver all the requirements of the standard model, but must additionally offer endoscopy and any other tests deemed a priority locally
- Hub & Spoke: The central hub will deliver nationally set minimum diagnostic tests with spokes providing additionally capacity to the hub via satellite location or mobile unit / pop-up
The six primary aims of a CDC are:
- To improving population health outcomes
- To increase diagnostic capacity
- To improve productivity and efficiency of diagnostic activity
- To contribute to reducing health inequalities
- To deliver a better, more personalised, diagnostic experience for patients
- To supporting integration of care across primary, secondary and community care.
Activity includes Imaging (CT, MRI, x-ray), endoscopy (gastroscopy, flex sigmoidoscopy), physiological measurements (echocardiography, spirometry) and pathology (phlebotomy and point of care testing).
The North West currently ranks third amongst all regions across England in terms of delivery, with close to 90,000 units of activity performed since the first sites were launched in July 2021.