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Plans for 150 new diagnostic hubs to cut rising waits

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Plans for up to 150 new community diagnostic hubs to tackle the NHS’ ballooning diagnostic waiting lists are included in NHS England ‘blue print plans’ leaked to HSJ.

The document pointed out the hubs “were highlighted in the phase 3 letter [from Sir Simon Stevens] and will be recommended as part of new service models for diagnostics in the forthcoming [Sir Mike] Richards’ Review of Diagnostics Capacity”.

It said “at least 150 community diagnostic hubs should be established in the first instance (broadly equivalent to the number of acute hospitals)” although it appears many of these may be temporary facilities.

The phase 3 letter said systems should mange the “immediate growth in people requiring cancer diagnosis and/or treatment returning to the service by… the development of community diagnostic hubs” among other measures

The Richards review was commissioned by NHS England in 2019 as it had long been recognised that England has one of the lowest levels in Europe of diagnostic equipment as well as a shortage in facilities and staff. Last month think-tanks warned of significant worsening of cancer outcomes because of the backlog in diagnosis and treatment created by a fall in referrals during the pandemic..."

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Source: HSJ, 4 September 2020

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