Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and NHS Sussex have launched plans for a new Community Diagnostics Centre (CDC) at Crawley Hospital to reduce waiting times for vital tests and checks.
The new centre, funded by NHS England, will also increase local access to diagnostic testing in Crawley and significantly reduce the number of patients needing to travel to East Surrey Hospital for CT and MRI scans, x-rays, ultrasounds, and blood and respiratory tests.
The new CDC will mean within the first 12 months, 30% more patients who need a diagnostic test and live in Crawley will be able to receive one locally at Crawley Hospital, with this percentage increasing each year. This will mean approximately 16,000 fewer patient journeys to East Surrey Hospital over the next five years.
The diagnostics hub, which is currently in its design phase, is planned to open in 2024. Once fully up and running, the hub will offer patients a 12-hour service, six days a week.
New temporary service
While the new centre is being designed and built, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust will be increasing the availability of diagnostic testing at Crawley Hospital to help ensure local patients can start to benefit from the new service sooner.
These new temporary services are due to come online in the coming months and are in addition to the thousands more appointments the Trust have already made available through the existing diagnostic services at Crawley since April. The Trust and its’ partners are also working with local GP practices on cutting waiting times for patients, especially those most in need.
Angela Stevenson, Chief Executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said:
“Increasing local access to diagnostic testing and reducing the time patients wait for vital tests and checks is one of our key priorities as a trust. It means we can start treatment for the most serious illnesses such as cancer much sooner and ensures more of our patients benefit from earlier diagnosis and therefore better outcomes.
“We aren’t doing this alone, and I want to thank NHS Sussex and our wider partners on helping us bring the plans for this new CDC in Crawley to life. It’s an important addition to the Crawley programme and for our local communities, and that’s why it’s even better news that our new temporary service will be helping patients benefit sooner by increasing the availability of thousands of tests and checks for local patients in Crawley over the coming months.”
The Crawley programme
The plans for a new CDC began last year as part of the Crawley programme, which focusses on bringing healthcare organisations together to work with local communities on addressing the key health priorities for local people.
These working groups showed that access to diagnostics and improving the time people are waiting for tests and treatments was a key priority for the people of Crawley.
Patient feedback also revealed that travelling to East Surrey Hospital for diagnostic tests is challenging for many Crawley residents, both in terms of cost and time, and there was a clear message that it was important to have a local service, for local people.
The plans, which will make a vast difference to all Crawley residents and its surrounding neighbourhoods, builds on the services already at Crawley hospital such as CT and MRI scanning. The new hub will also give local NHS services the opportunity to bring together other diagnostics functions to one central place in the hospital.