Late last year, Montagu Hospital was selected to host one of a pair of ‘Community Diagnostic Centres’ (CDC) within South Yorkshire, following a £3 million investment from the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (ICS), of which Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) has received around £230,000 of capital funding so far.
Managed as part of a five year project, the first step was completed in January, as mobile MRI and CT units were placed on site, following the construction of suitable foundation pads by the Trust’s Estates and Facilities teams.
Since that time, the scanners were working throughout the latter parts of winter and into spring, providing a suitable alternative for local residents, and particularly those that reside within the Dearne Valley, to receive crucial hospital care within a community setting that is convenient for them.
Unfortunately, there are around 367,000 new cancer cases in Britain each year, which works out at around 1,000 detected daily.
With restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, cancer waiting lists have increased, as has the backlog of individuals awaiting diagnostic tests, a crucial component to the fight against the illness, as early detection often leads to better outcomes. As such, colleagues at DBTH, along with partners, are doing all they can reduce any delays locally.
Sara Elliott, Head of Radiology at DBTH, said: “The creation of the Community Diagnostic Centre at Montagu Hospital has been a monumental task, but one that the project team have really stepped up to, and I’m so proud that we have one of the first CDCs in the country, and the first in region, to mobilise and start seeing patients.
“Of particular note, with the additional capacity provided at Montagu Hospital, by the end of March we completely eradicated our MRI backlog – an incredible achievement.
“From our patient booking teams to the staff who operate the scanners we currently have on site at Mexborough, they have all done a fantastic job. We still have some way to go with our overall backlog, but the CDC will be a crucial component in our recovery journey.”
The first part of the CDC is now complete, plans have been developed by the Trust’s Strategy and Improvement team with clinical leads from relevant services and with the support from local NHS Commissioners, the region’s Integrated Care System and Cancer Alliance to take the project forward.
The ‘Phase 2 Business Case’ will be submitted in the coming months, and colleagues are hopeful that it will receive the approval necessary from the regional and national team for further funding.
The Trust intends to communicate further about upcoming plans as and when it is able to, and in the meantime is looking for local people to get involved with future projects and developments such as the Community Diagnostic Centre, sharing their views and helping to shape healthcare in the area. If you wish to be involved, please email [email protected]