Montagu Hospital’s Community Diagnostic Centre enters phase one

‘Phase One’ of a planned development to speed up diagnostic tests for conditions such as cancer has begun at Mexborough’s Montagu Hospital as MRI scanning is now available on site.

In October 2021, Montagu Hospital was selected to host one of two ‘Community Diagnostic Centres’ (CDC) within the region, following a £3 million investment from the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (ICS), of which the site will receive around £230,000 of capital funding in the first phase.

The main goal of this new service is to improve patient experience by creating a one-stop-shop for a variety of tests and consultations. As a three-phase development, 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 the initial phase, which the Trust launched 3 January 2022, a mobile MRI has been placed at Montagu Hospital, with a similar CT facility to follow in February. Between now and the end of March, it is envisaged that around 2,600 patients will be seen in Mexborough.

Dr Tim Noble, Executive Medical Director at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH), said: “Earlier this year we were absolutely delighted that Montagu Hospital was selected as one of the sites to host a Community Diagnostic Centre 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.

“Colleagues are currently hard at work to ensure we can launch the first phase of this work in January 2022, and we look forward to welcoming our first patients and offering this fantastic new service for the people of Doncaster, Bassetlaw and beyond.”

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 three phases – while phase one includes the provisions of MRI and CT scanning capacity, the second which will see further investment and will include ultrasound and endoscopy capabilities installed at Montagu Hospital, alongside a bevy of improvements, while for the third phlebotomy and cardiorespiratory services are being explored.

The Trust is looking for local people to get involved with future projects and developments such as the Community Diagnostic Centre, sharing their views and helping to shape healthcare in the area. If you wish to be involved, please email