More than 25,000 people have now benefited from faster access to vital diagnostic tests and scans thanks to Clatterbridge Diagnostics, a new NHS community diagnostic centre in Wirral.
Paul Cotgrave, from Birkenhead, was the 25,000th person to be seen at Clatterbridge Diagnostics, which achieved the milestone yesterday (26 July 2022).
The service is a partnership between The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and Wirral University Teaching Hospital and was one of the first community diagnostic centres in England when it opened last year. It is part of the NHS England Community Diagnostic Centre programme that aims to improve outcomes for patients, including those with suspected cancer and other serious health conditions through earlier diagnosis. Diagnosing illnesses earlier often means people have more treatment options and increased survival rates.
Clatterbridge Diagnostics was initially piloted in July 2021. It launched officially at the end of October 2021 following positive feedback from service users able to access their tests closer to home without having to travel to a major hospital site.
The site offers tests for Phlebotomy, Ultrasound, MRI, CT and Sleep Studies. It also allows for additional diagnostic activity for Cardiorespiratory and Endoscopy Diagnostics within bespoke units at Arrowe Park Hospital.
Paul Cotgrave, the 25,000th patient to use the service, said, “It’s been great to come here as it’s so easy to access, easy to park and means you can get seen quicker.”
Sophie Ormond, who used the service on the same day, said, “I got my scan appointment through a couple of weeks after being referred by my GP. The centre is local to me and made the whole process really easy.”
Dr Jude Joseph, Clinical Lead for Clatterbridge Diagnostics and Regional Clinical Pathways Lead, said, “The aim is to detect, diagnose and intervene as soon as possible. The additional diagnostic appointments we can offer at this hub helps us to reduce waiting times and improve patient care and experience across the area.”
Dr Liz Bishop, Chief Executive of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, said, “Faster access to diagnostics is important because it means people with serious conditions can get diagnosed sooner and begin the treatment they need. It’s fantastic to see the impact that Clatterbridge Diagnostics has had, with 25,000 people using the service so far. This extra capacity means the NHS in Wirral has been able to test, diagnose and treat more people than would otherwise have been possible.”
Janelle Holmes, Chief Executive of Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, added, “This has been a brilliant collaboration and demonstrates the real value of working with partners across the health economy to support our patients. Having the ability to help more patients is a tremendous advantage and having the 25,000th patient to have utilised the service is a testament to the services the centre is able to provide.”
Image: Paul Cotgrave, the 25,000th person to Clatterbridge Diagnostics, pictured with Sonographer Aimee Bebington and Clinical Support Worker Peppar Brown