Lee Anderson, MP for Ashfield, was thrilled to learn that Kings Mill Hospital will receive a new diagnostic hub.
This will see dedicated funding to help tackle the elective backlog with patients from the area benefitting from the earlier diagnostic tests.
The new one-stop-shops for checks, scans and tests will be backed by a £350 million investment from government to provide around 2.8 million scans in the first full year of operation. Kings Mill hospital is one of just 40 venues to receive this funding.
The centre will help to achieve earlier diagnoses for patients through easier, faster, and more direct access to the full range of diagnostic tests needed to understand patients’ symptoms including breathlessness and cancer. The aim is to reduce hospital visits which will help to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission
The centres will also contribute to the NHS’s 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 a centre so they can access life-saving checks closer to home and be diagnosed for a range of conditions. This will be more convenient for patients, more efficient and more resilient to the risk of cancelled tests in hospitals due to COVID-19. The centres will be staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff including nurses and radiographers and are open 7 days a week.
All cancer services are back to or above pre-pandemic levels with almost half a million people checked for cancer in June and July – among the highest numbers on record – while more than 50,000 people started treatment for cancer in the same period, a 32% increase on the same period last year. The centres will continue to further level up access to vital cancer tests and other tests to tackle the backlogs that have built up during the pandemic.
Lee Anderson said:
“This is great news for Ashfield. The pandemic has created a backlog of cases throughout the country and I am really pleased we are getting this facility. I have always promised to bang the drum for Ashfield and I will continue to do so”.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, said:
“Tackling waiting lists will require new and more innovative ways of delivering the services people need. That is why we’re making it easier and more convenient to get checked.
Our new community diagnostic centres will bring those crucial tests closer to home including in the communities that need them most. They will help enable earlier diagnosis, allowing us to catch cancer and other issues as quickly as possible, and save more lives”.
The government recently announced an extra £5.4 billion to the NHS to respond to COVID-19 over the next 6 months, taking total extra COVID-19 funding to health and care services to over £34 billion this year alone. It builds on the new Health and Social Care Levy, which will see funding rise by a record £36 billion over the next 3 years.
This is on top of a further £36 billion for health and social care across the UK thanks to the Health and Care Levy, which will include £8 billion ring-fenced to tackle backlogs and help the NHS deliver an extra 9 million checks, scans and operations for patients across the country from 2022 onwards.