Montagu Hospital to develop one-to-stop shop for diagnostic testing

Montagu Hospital has been selected to host one of two Community Diagnostic Hubs within the region, following a £3 million investment from the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (ICS).

With phase one of the development set to begin, the Community Diagnostic Hub (CDH) based at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals’ (DBTH) Mexborough site will help to improve diagnostic services across the borough.

There are many long-term aims for the CDH which are still being finalised, however the main goal is to improve patient experience by creating a one-stop-shop for a variety of tests and consultations. It is envisioned that a patient will just have to keep one appointment, during which all relevant diagnostics can be performed, helping them to receive a clear and faster diagnosis, reducing any delays to the onset of required treatment.

As part of this investment, the Trust will increase both CT and MRI scanning capacity, with funding available for the provision of new equipment. In turn, this will help to increase productivity and efficiency within the service by enhancing planned and unplanned diagnostic pathways, as well as reduce health inequalities and increase access across both Doncaster and Worksop.

Dr Tim Noble, Executive Medical Director at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH), said: “We are delighted that Montagu Hospital has been selected as one of the sites to host a Community Diagnostic Hub within South Yorkshire. This new facility will allow us to offer an enhanced service to our patients, conducting a range of tests in one place ensuring individuals are diagnosed as quickly and efficiently as possible, and, if required, treatment started swiftly, giving local people the best chance of a positive outcome.”

The funding has been secured as part of a national programme to help the NHS further accelerate diagnostic activity and recover services from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly as possible. It is a share of a £350m national pot to create 40 new Community Diagnostic Centres announced by the Government and NHS on Friday 1 October. The new one-stop-shops for checks, scans and tests will provide a combined 2.8 million scans in their first full year of operation.

Professor Des Breen, Medical Director for the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System, said: “When people are unwell and experiencing ongoing signs or symptoms, their doctor might request diagnostic tests to confirm or rule out

Specific conditions or diseases. The Community Diagnostic Centres will be centres in convenient locations, often closer to where people live or easier to get to than larger hospital sites, that will provide diagnostic testing.

“The aspiration is that in the long term patients will be able to visit a local facility and have all (or as many as possible of) their tests done in the same place and on the same day. This would prevent patients from having to move backwards and forwards across healthcare sites as much as they currently do, from NHS site to NHS site, from specialist to specialist.

“Overall, this is a huge step forward in improving the patient experience in diagnosis, and we’re really excited to get plans underway for these initial sites while also planning more for the region.”

The Community Diagnostic Centre will be developed within two phases, with colleagues within DBTH now hard at work implementing plans to launch this new service in the coming months.