Proposals developed for crucial Community Diagnostic Centres across the region

Over the past few months, Shared Agenda has been providing programme management and business case support to Humber and North Yorkshire Community Diagnostics Programme, supporting the development of plans for investment in diagnostic services to meet local population needs. 

Intended to be rolled out in specific locations across the region, these Community Diagnostic Centres are set to provide patients with earlier tests closer to home. They will be dedicated to providing faster, easier, and more direct access to diagnostic tests that will support the management of patients with a wide range of conditions; cancer, cardiac, respiratory, ophthalmic etc.  The development of these new facilities will also help to reduce waiting times and pressure on services in acute hospital settings. 

Building on feasibility work undertaken at the beginning of the year to understand the baseline position, projected future workloads and potential service developments and locations, the Shared Agenda team has worked with the ICS and service providers to develop business cases for the first projects in the programme which, if approved, will be delivered over the next three years. 

Nikola Idle, Associate Director for Shared Agenda who has been working closely on this project from the offset said; 

“We have worked closely with diagnostic service providers, commissioners and other relevant stakeholders across the Humber and North Yorkshire region to design the overall scope of this programme, in terms of what type of provision is required in each geographic location to best meet the needs of the local population – be that a new centre in an accessible location for our towns, existing community sites, or via mobile provision taking the services to those in more rural locations”.

“Once this overall outline had been established, we continued to work with these stakeholders to identify the best way to create the specific facilities and resources required, either through re use of existing accommodation, or creation of new buildings”.

“The submission of the Business Cases for this first stage of the programme is a significant milestone.  Subject to business case approval, we will see mobile provision and diagnostic “Spokes” start to deliver services as quickly as Spring 2023, with the larger diagnostic “Hubs” beginning to operate from late 2024.

Chris O’Neill, the ICS Director Lead for the Programme said;  

“The research that has been undertaken has reinforced the requirement for both immediate and sustained investment in diagnostic service capacity to cope with both current and projected future demand. 

“Diagnostic waiting lists across the Humber and North Yorkshire area increased significantly (21%) over the 12 months to March 2022, despite the efforts that were made during the course of the year to increase diagnostic activity levels.  Although we are seeing the benefit of some recent investments this year, demand for diagnostic services still exceeds capacity and our waiting list figures are expected to increase by a further 7% this year. 

“The Community Diagnostics Programme has been managed on a collaborative, system-wide basis from the outset and there has been excellent engagement from partner organisations across all sectors, including acute care, primary care, place/ICB, local authorities and the private sector.”