Patients across Wirral are benefiting from earlier diagnostic testing thanks to national investment in a new service called Clatterbridge Diagnostics.
This is one of the first Community Diagnostic Centres in England that are being established as part of a national programme aimed at increasing diagnostic capacity.
Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) and The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre (CCC) are working in partnership to deliver the service after being awarded a share of £350m national funding to create one of the 40 new Community Diagnostic Centres planned across England.
Clatterbridge Diagnostics has been set up within The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Wirral and will offer an extra service for WUTH patients alongside the current diagnostics support at Arrowe Park Hospital.
The service will offer earlier access to diagnostics, reducing the time that patients wait for tests for a wide range of conditions including heart disease, lung conditions and cancer and will therefore provide earlier diagnoses for people in Wirral. Importantly, it has been established in a way that means cancer care on the site will also be enhanced by enabling people to be diagnosed more quickly without affecting waiting times for treatment.
The service will deliver increased testing for MRI, CT, Ultrasound, X-Ray, Sleep Apnoea, Blood Tests, Endoscopy, ECHO, ECGs and Respiratory testing.
The partnership approach will also see a new mobile CT scanner placed on the Clatterbridge Hospital site to further increase diagnostic testing for patients. Endoscopy testing will be increased on the Arrowe Park Hospital site in the bespoke Endoscopy Unit as part of the project.
The first part of the service started as a pilot in July, receiving radiology patients and was officially named Clatterbridge Diagnostics at the end of October. Since July, this service has seen over 2000 patients directly benefit from earlier access to diagnostic testing. It is expected that the number of patients using the services will increase rapidly over the next few months.