NHS head visits Barnsley Community Diagnostic Centre
The head of the NHS has visited Barnsley’s award-winning Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) to learn about its latest expansion plans.
Amanda Pritchard, NHS Chief Executive, visited the ground-breaking CDC in Barnsley’s retail centre The Glass Works on Friday (October 13). The high-tech healthcare unit in the heart of Barnsley is staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of hospital staff and has been serving patients since 18 April, 2022.
The unit - which offers appointments on a pre-arranged basis - firstly offered breast screening and phlebotomy (blood test) services, plain film X-Ray, DEXA (bone density) screening and non-obstetric ultrasound.
For its first phase, the CDC was allocated approximately £2.8million of capital funding via the national CDC programme, and a further sum of around £4.6 million from the same pot. Additional services now include computerised tomography (CT), abdominal aortic aneurysm screening, URO-Dynamics (bladder) and retinal eye screening.
The CDC development means waiting times for some screening have been cut substantially - for example, from six weeks for DEXA (bone density) screening in March 2022 to just one week (October 2022). Waiting times for plain film X-Ray are also down from two-and-a-half weeks in March 2022 to one-and-a-half weeks, while waits for ultrasound screening have fallen from six weeks to just two weeks. Breast screening uptake rates increased from 50% in April 2022 to 72% in October 2022.
Ms Pritchard toured the CDC on Friday and was welcomed by Barnsley Hospital Chief Executive Dr Richard Jenkins, and Gavin Boyle, Chief Executive of the South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board. She went on to meet radiographers, sonographers, speciality nurses in the Capsule Endoscopy Service and NHS apprentices and trainees.
Ms Pritchard said: “It was amazing to visit Barnsley and see first-hand the huge difference that the community diagnostic centre is having on the lives of local people - by bringing health checks to the high street, staff there working with their local partners, are ensuring services are as convenient as possible for patients as well as successfully driving down waiting times.
“The staff working at the Glassworks CDC and at the local blood pressure checks in the market were incredible - from student radiographers to specialist nurses, they should all be immensely proud of their work - it is absolutely first class and exactly what we want to see happening for patients right across the county.”
Dr Jenkins said: “We were delighted to welcome Amanda Pritchard to the CDC of which we are immensely proud. This diagnostic hub was the first of its kind in the UK and has enjoyed a hugely successful first year delivering thousands of tests, checks and scans. Not only has it increased capacity of diagnostic services to help reduce waiting times, it has also improved access to diagnostic services to help early detection of diseases.
“We have seen from the public response that it is bringing real benefits to people’s health and wellbeing in an environment that they know – linking up health appointments with everyday life and activity while helping people get vital health checks sooner.”
About Barnsley’s NHS Community Diagnostic Centre
- The NHS Community Diagnostic Centre in The Glass Works was the first of its kind in the country. A truly game-changing service, utilising space in a shopping centre to take pressure off the hospital in a convenient town centre location.
- The centre provides vital testing and screening services to the people of Barnsley, including ultrasound, X-ray, breast screening, phlebotomy and bone density scans.
- In May this year, the CDC was awarded ‘Project of the Year’ at the annual Healthcare Estates and Facilities Management Awards (HEFMA).
- Learn more: Community Diagnostic Centre | Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust