People living in Humber, Coast and Vale are set to benefit from earlier diagnostic tests, provided closer to home thanks to investment in new mobile MRI and CT scanning facilities.
The Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership (Integrated Care System) has secured an £8.6million share of a £350million national pot, announced by the Government last week (1 October), that will support development of new models of Community Diagnostic Provision. This additional mobile capacity will contribute towards the national combined 2.8 million scans in their first full year of operation.
The HCV Partnership (ICS) is adopting an innovative and collaborative approach to developing and delivering diagnostic services, including the purchase of a mobile MRI and a mobile CT scanner to improve access and reduce waiting times for patients. Over time the mobile service will be deployed flexibly across the region with potential to deliver an additional 500 CT and 500 MRI scans per month.
The investment will help to reduce waiting times and improve patient experience and access to diagnostic services and support the implementation of better pathways of care in key clinical areas including cancer, cardiac and respiratory care.
Dr Nigel Wells, a GP and HCV Partnership (ICS) Clinical Lead, said: “Our local teams have already made great progress in ramping-up scans and tests back up to pre-pandemic levels. This new investment will help us go even further, whilst also providing a more convenient model of service delivery for patients.”
The increase in scanning capability will help to achieve:
- earlier diagnoses for patients through easier, faster, and more direct access to the MRI and CT scans needed to understand patients’ symptoms and direct them to the right care as soon as possible
- a reduction in hospital visits which will help to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission
- a contribution to the NHS’ net zero ambitions by providing multiple tests at one visit, reducing the number of patient journeys and helping to cut carbon emissions and air pollution.
GPs will be able to refer patients to more locally based services so they can access life-saving checks closer to home and be diagnosed for a range of conditions, rather than travelling to hospital. This will be more convenient for patients, more efficient and more resilient to the risk of cancelled tests in hospitals due to Covid-19.