£29.9m Investment in ‘One-Stop-Shop’ Community Diagnostic Centres in Derby and Derbyshire
More than one million people living in Derby and Derbyshire will have access to five Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) by 2025, as part of a national £2.3 billion investment to reduce waiting times and provide care in communities.
CDCs are ‘one-stop shops’ designed to provide an easier and altogether better patient experience by having a host of diagnostic facilities and services in one place. Where previously some diagnostic procedures needed to be completed in different locations and at different appointment times, there will now be greater flexibility and options for patients – including tests completed under ‘one roof’ and closer to patients’ homes, reducing the need for travel and providing improved access.
Derby and Derbyshire’s Integrated Care System – Joined Up Care Derbyshire – has received £29.9m to fund the development of five CDCs across Derbyshire (with one of the CDCs located in Tamworth in Staffordshire, not far from the Derbyshire border).
Whitworth Hospital’s Community Diagnostic Centre will be formally opened today (Tuesday, 27 June) by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. In addition to the national funding, the development was aided by generous donations totalling more than £140,000 from Matlock Hospitals League of Friends; supporting the expansion of a purpose-built diagnostic corridor and adjoining diagnostic rooms. The CDC is a partnership between Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Whitworth Hospital site.
The Duke and Duchess will be joined by NHS colleagues both Trusts who will lead a tour around the new development, which includes visits to dedicated ultrasound, x-ray and phlebotomy (blood test) rooms.
Peter Vincent, Matlock Hospitals League of Friends Chair said: “We are delighted to be able to donate funds towards the CDC development at Whitworth Hospital – we know that this new service will help and support so many people in our communities and enable scans, diagnosis, and treatment much closer to patients’ homes.
“We have a long-serving friendship with Whitworth Hospital and its staff, and we are delighted to attend the official opening today with the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, our official Joint Presidents.”
Whitworth Hospital’s Community Diagnostic Centre has already seen more than 7,000 patients since its February 2023 phased launch. Its services include extended weekend x-ray facilities, blood testing and ultrasound services. Whitworth Hospital’s CDC will see further enhancements in point-of-care tests (POCT), providing patients with medical diagnostic tests and quick-turnaround results.
Michelle Veitch, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s Chief Operating Officer said: “The official opening of Whitworth Hospital’s Community Diagnostic Centre is true recognition of partnership working from Derby and Derbyshire NHS colleagues. This collaboration has resulted in thousands more patients receiving their care closer to home.
“The development and continued expansion of Community Diagnostic Centres in Derbyshire provides an opportunity to transform care and increase the number of people able to get quick and easier diagnostics for illnesses – going on to get the treatment they need.
“Our teams and colleagues have worked hard to deliver these services to our patients and communities, with many more services, plans and builds coming soon. Thank you to everyone involved in delivering exceptional patient care in our hospitals and in the community.”
Melissa Dalton, Clinical Lead at Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust Urgent Care and Specialist Services, based at Whitworth Hospital, said: “The partnership across Derbyshire has enabled Whitworth Hospital to deliver more diagnostic services and tests to our patients and community, enabling quicker diagnosis and treatment – all closer to home. The extension of the x-ray provision as a seven-day-a-week service is also hugely benefiting patients coming into our urgent treatment centre at Whitworth Hospital.
“It is very special to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire to Whitworth Hospital to officially open this Community Diagnostic Centre. It also enables us to give special thanks and recognition to Matlock Hospitals League of Friends, who have generously donated more than £140,000 to develop the diagnostic facilities at Whitworth Hospital.
“The donation has enabled the refurbishment of clinical and non-clinical rooms, many now serving the hospital’s ‘diagnostic corridor.’ The League are very much friends of Whitworth Hospital and without their fundraising and donations, the Community Diagnostic Centre would not look or serve patients the way it does today!
“Thank you to everyone involved, and special thank you to Matlock Hospitals League of Friends and the Duke and Duchess.”
The official opening at Whitworth Hospital leads the announcement and development of Derby and Derbyshire’s additional Community Diagnostic Centres, which are expected to reach full diagnostic and clinical capacity over the next two years.
- Walton Hospital, Chesterfield
- Ilkeston Community Hospital, Ilkeston
- Sir Robert Peel Community Hospital, Tamworth
- Florence Nightingale Community Hospital, Derby
The building work at Sir Robert Peel Community Hospital – located on the Derbyshire and Staffordshire border in Tamworth – includes creating purpose-built areas for a CT scanner, phlebotomy, point-of-care testing, ultrasound and physiological measurements, which includes echocardiography, ECG monitoring, respiratory and sleep diagnostics. The site will also gain a purpose-built welcome area and preparation suite. The CDC at Sir Robert Peel is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Current services at Ilkeston Community Hospital’s CDC include phlebotomy (blood tests), ultrasound, plain film x-ray and a mobile MRI scanner with Point of Care Testing (POCT) arriving shortly. Building works are taking place to create purpose-built rooms for ultrasound and physiological measurements. This will be followed by a reconfiguration of the x-ray department which will include the installation of a chest x-ray, a further ultrasound room and a CT department.
The CDC at Ilkeston Hospital will also receive an open MRI scanner, which will be the first of its kind in Derbyshire. The open MRI will provide a better patient experience for those who are claustrophobic or anxious about having a scan. The CDC at Ilkeston Hospital is expected to be fully operational by January 2024.
Florence Nightingale Community Hospital’s investment will see the new purpose-built CDC suite house three CT scanners, ultrasound and mammography services, x-ray, and physiological measurements. The build is expected to be completed by summer 2024. The CDC complements a range of diagnostic and clinical services already available at the hospital
Walton Hospital, as part of Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS FT, has been awarded £5.2m to develop a state-of-the-art building for the Community Diagnostic Centre. Temporary rooms and services are already available, including a CT scanner which can rotate around the Derbyshire CDC locations, whilst the purpose-built CDC is constructed. Diagnostic services coming soon to Walton Hospital’s Community Diagnostic Centre includes an MRI scanner, ultrasound and blood tests. The CDC is expected to be fully operational by September 2024.
Mike Goodwin, Workstream Lead for Derby and Derbyshire Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) and Divisional Director for Cancer, Diagnostics and Clinical Support at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, added: “The aim of Community Diagnostic Centres is to increase diagnostic capacity across our region and place services in the heart of local communities where they are more accessible to our patients.
“The Derby and Derbyshire CDC locations have been selected to help to reduce health inequalities by building upon the scope of the diagnostic facilities already in place at these community locations.
“Our CDCs offer a host of tests and treatments which will improve diagnoses and accelerate treatment for a range of conditions including heart and lung disease and cancer.
“Many of our services will be offered seven days a week once the CDCs are fully operational, with many services offering evening appointments too. This convenience will allow us to see more patients, not only closer to their homes, but also at more accessible times, and supports our ambition of improving and increasing diagnostic testing across Derbyshire.”
The centres will help achieve:
- Earlier diagnoses for patients through quicker access to the full range of diagnostic tests needed to investigate patients’ symptoms.
- Greater convenience for patients, by offering multiple tests at one visit.
- A contribution to cutting carbon emissions and air pollution, by reducing the number of unnecessary patient journeys and traffic congestion in and around hospitals.
- A contribution to reducing health inequalities by providing personalised diagnostic services in the community, closer to home. The increase in diagnostics available will support more ‘one-stop’ pathways in these specially chosen locations.