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New NHS diagnostic centre for Oxfordshire to boost access to care

25/11/2021

Patients across Oxfordshire are set to benefit from earlier diagnostic tests closer to home thanks to investment in a new testing centre in Oxford Business Park in Cowley.

Oxford Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) is an innovative and exciting new development by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) in partnership with Perspectum.

The centre is also well-placed to reach several patient groups across the city and offer services to a wide range of people.

The centre is one of 43 nationally that the government has funded to provide diagnostic services closer to patients' homes.

Together, these new facilities will have the capacity to deliver up to 800,000 additional tests nationally by March 2022.

The new Oxford centre will help achieve: 

  • earlier diagnoses for patients through easier, faster, and more direct access to the wide range of diagnostic tests needed to understand patients' symptoms
  • a reduction in the number of hospital visits
  • diagnosis closer to home, in the areas where diagnostic testing is most needed
  • 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
  • faster adoption of diagnostic technology and innovations that contribute towards better patient experience and improved outcomes.  

GPs will be able to refer patients to the centre so they can access life-saving checks closer to home and be diagnosed for a range of conditions, rather than travelling to hospital.

The centre will carry out a range of diagnostic tests, including:

  • imaging (CT, MRI, ultrasound, X-ray, and mammography)
  • physiological measurement (echocardiography, full lung function tests, and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring)
  • pathology (phlebotomy, point of care resting, and simple biopsies).

The centre will open fully to patients and referrals in early 2022.

Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive Officer at OUH, said: "We're delighted to be part of this innovative new approach to diagnostics. Not only will this mean that patients will receive diagnostic tests more quickly, it also provides care in the local community – often saving people a trip to hospital and generally being more convenient for people’s needs. Vitally, early diagnosis is a hugely important part of successful treatment, and this will help us achieve that."

Community Diagnostic Centres are one of the recommendations from Professor Sir Mike Richards, the first NHS national cancer director, who conducted a review of diagnostic services as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, published in 2019.

Professor Sir Mike Richards was at the launch event at the centre yesterday (Wednesday 24 November) and said: "Rapid diagnosis will save lives, and these centres for checks, scans, and tests in the heart of local communities will not only make services more accessible and convenient for patients, but they will also help improve outcomes for patients with cancer and other serious conditions."

Dr James Kent, Accountable Officer, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care System and Clinical Commissioning Groups, said "This is an exciting development that will help bring important and potentially lifesaving diagnostics testing closer to home and away from a busy hospital. GPs will be able to refer patients directly for tests which will be more convenient than going to hospital for many patients."