The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said a total of 40 new clinical centers will open in England to reduce stress on the NHS.
Venues, which will be placed in places like shopping centers and football stadiums, will allow thousands of patients to go for scans and tests without needing to go to the hospital.
It is hoped the sites will help reduce the NHS waiting list, which stood at 5.6 million people at the end of July, the highest figure since records began in August 2007.
The centers will receive £350 million in government funding to enable them to deliver 2.8 million scans in the first year.
A Community Diagnostics Center will open at Glass Works in Barnsley, while another will be located at Falmer Community Stadium in Brighton.
Services provided by the 40 facilities will include MRI, X-ray, CT and ultrasound scans.
Announcing the decision, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Dealing with waiting lists will require new and more innovative ways of delivering essential services to the people. That’s why we’re making it easier and more convenient to get tested.
“Our new community diagnostics centers will bring those critical tests closer to home, including those in the communities that need them most. They will help enable earlier diagnosis, allowing us to catch cancer and other issues sooner, and save more lives.”
NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard also welcomed the move, saying the sites would play an important role in “ultimately helping more patients and families overcome the pain and trauma of illness”.
Professor Sir Mike Richards, who recommended the new diagnosis model in a government report last year, said he was “absolutely pleased” that his advice was “so quickly” becoming reality.
“I have no doubt that many people will benefit from these new NHS Community Diagnostic Centres, bringing many tests together in one convenient location,” he said.
The facilities will open their doors in the next six months and will be fully operational by March.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /