A new diagnostic centre offering X-rays, MRI, CT, ultrasound, ECHO and DEXA scanning to patients across Gloucestershire is set to open in the centre of Gloucester next autumn.

The £15m Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) is the first in the South West to be approved by NHS England, meaning that work on the County Council owned building in Quayside can now get underway, with Kier as the construction contractor.

One Gloucestershire Integrated Care System (ICS) partners are working together to oversee the development which will provide patients with the diagnostic tests they need in a convenient location, quickly, and in the fewest possible number of visits.

Dr Andy Seymour, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Gloucestershire, said:

“Our local teams have been working really hard to bring scans and tests back up to pre-pandemic levels, and this new investment will really help us to work through COVID-19 backlogs and speed up access to life-saving tests.

Faster diagnosis is vital in diagnosing a host of conditions, including cancer, as early as possible. Making it easier and quicker for patients to get the tests and scans they need will help to detect conditions sooner and give patients the best possible chances of recovering.

If a patient requires more than one type of scan, the centre will aim to provide these in one visit to reduce travelling and waiting times for diagnoses.”

Simon Lanceley, Director of Strategy at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which is leading the programme, said:

“This centre is great news for patients across the county as it means we can increase diagnostic capacity by investing in new, high quality facilities, equipment and staff.

This will help us to improve both our productivity and efficiency by seeing a greater number of patients more quickly and diagnose conditions earlier, faster and more accurately.

Patients will also have a more personalised and convenient experience as we plan to increase the number of one-stop clinics where patients are able to access a range of tests and see their specialist team at the same appointment.

We also hope this new centre will help us to attract and retain more health professionals within Gloucestershire, boost morale and bring higher levels of job satisfaction.”

The centre will help the county’s two main hospitals by reducing the number of diagnostic appointments they provide. This will enable busy hospital staff who are facing high levels of need to focus on providing acute care and should lead to fewer cancelled appointments for patients.

Paul Roberts, Chief Executive at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“What really matters is giving all our patients the very best outcome possible by providing high-quality diagnostics and this new development will certainly help with that. We will also be reducing demands on our hospitals around the county, which is to be welcomed at the current time.

Its central location in the county with public transport links and parking for staff and patients on site, means the development at Quayside provides good access.”

Dr Georgios Chatzakis, Radiology Specialty Director at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“The centre is being equipped with the latest equipment and technology to provide patients and staff with high quality images, scans and information.

The clinical and operational facilities will offer privacy and space, allowing us to give patients the best possible diagnostic experience.”

The new centre will open in phases, with CT and MRI services operational by March 2023 and a full range of service available from October 2023.

Additional information

While the new facility provides enhanced diagnostic services, patients will still be able to have X rays and other imaging procedures carried out at existing hospital sites, including community hospitals, when appropriate.