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Following the announcement on Friday about the new funding to create Community Diagnostic Centres across England, the NHS in Coventry and Warwickshire today released further details on how the money was going to be spent to help patients across the area benefit from earlier diagnostic tests closer to home.

Over the last few months, the Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care System, including local hospitals and wider partners, has worked together to prepare a bid to secure additional funding to support Community Diagnostic Hubs in Coventry, Warwickshire North and South Warwickshire. 

These diagnostic hubs are created to provide quicker, easier and more convenient access to tests. Patients will benefit from earlier diagnostic tests closer to home, a reduction in hospital visits which will help to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission; and a contribution to the NHS’ net zero ambitions by providing multiple tests at one visit, improving the patient experience and reducing the number of patient journeys and helping to cut carbon emissions and air pollution.  

In Warwickshire North a new facility will be built on the George Eliot Hospital site. The building will be complete by March 2022 to enhance and increase access to diagnostics. This will include new x-ray and ultrasound facilities, and tests for heart and lung conditions. 

In South Warwickshire, there is already a Community Diagnostic Hub in the new Stratford Hospital and the space available in the old Stratford Hospital will be utilised to enable a quick mobilisation of additional diagnostics in line with the national strategy. This will include cardiac physiology, increase in breast diagnostics and ultrasound. There will also be a mobile MRI scanner to help meet the growing demand in the south of Warwickshire. 
In Coventry, as a key phase in delivering a long term vision of diagnostic services to improve patient care, new equipment at the City of Coventry Healthcare Centre, including ECG, Echocardiogram and Spirometry, will be central to providing increased diagnostic capacity for people with long term conditions, such as heart failure and respiratory illness. This will be used alongside improved diagnostic imaging services including; Computerised Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Ultrasound, providing increased services for the city. 

In Rugby extended endoscopy services at the Hospital of St Cross will provide essential capacity for the future. The aim of these developments is to establish an improved and convenient service for the whole population or Coventry and Warwickshire.
The teams have worked together to look at what the future demand for diagnostics might look like and to offer support to each other in areas of greatest need. Further work will now take place to develop a five year forward view so that we can work together to identify the greatest needs in our population and develop the hubs further. 
Neil Anderson, Clinical Director at UHCW and the Clinical Diagnostics Lead for Coventry and Warwickshire said: “This will directly help the patients of Coventry and Warwickshire by ensuring reduced diagnostic waiting times leading to faster diagnosis’
Catherine Free, Medical Director at GEH and Chair of the Community Diagnostics Hub group said: “I am delighted that we have been able to secure such a significant investment for the first year into community diagnostics for the benefit of our local communities across Coventry and Warwickshire. 

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