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Case Study: Delivering a Community Diagnostic Centre at Finchley Memorial Hospital

Summary

Finchley Memorial Hospital Community Diagnostic Centre is a good example of what can be achieved by working in partnership across an Integrated Care System (ICS), and linking additional diagnostic capacity into an existing, vibrant and important local care facility to meet many of North Central London (NCL) ICS’s strategic priorities and the needs of local patients.

Finchley Memorial CDC: Diagnostic Services in the community for the community

Watch our short video sharing the benefits of Finchley Memorial Hospital Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) for patients, staff and partners.  We are proud to have worked in partnership to deliver additional diagnostic services in the community.

Service: Finchley Memorial Hospital Community Diagnostic Centre

Hosted for: North Central London (NCL) Integrated Care System (ICS)

Host Partner: Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Timescales: Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) established in July 2021

Partnership: Community Health Partnerships (CHP), as the head tenant for the site, worked closely with North Central London Integrated Care System, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust as the CDC host, and LIFTCo North London Estate Partnerships and gbpartnerships consult to deliver the CDC project.

Background

Finchley Memorial Hospital (FMH) is an important NHS LIFT asset, which had opportunities to improve efficiencies and utilisation, and explore creatively how to rapidly scale up provision of new diagnostic services out of hospital.  It opened in July 2012 and is a multi-use community site bringing care closer to home for the residents of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington.  

Diagnostic services include CT, MRI, ultrasound and ophthalmology scans, additional phlebotomy (blood tests), cardiology and respiratory tests and vascular thermography.

Community Diagnostic Centres are a national imperative, a vital part of the Government’s plan to transform the way the NHS delivers tests, scans and x-rays and ultimately reduce waiting times for patients.

In North Central London the commissioners and Trust recognised that with some minor adaptations FMH could quickly be established as a CDC, with the benefits to patients and staff being rapidly realised.

Challenge

In 2021 the Government announced the roll out of CDCs, new one-stop-shops for checks, scans and tests backed by a £350 million investment to provide around 2.8 million scans and tests in the first full year of operation.

NCL ICS set up a CDC programme in early 2021, which set out to optimise the use of core assets and to invest in local care, to support population health improvements as strategic priorities in delivering CDCs locally.

Solution

FMH was identified as a preferred location for a new Community Diagnostic Centre in North Central London following a full options appraisal.  It opened as an early adopter CDC in July 2021.

Partnership working, delivery, capability and flexibility of existing good quality estate have been critical factors in overcoming challenges and successfully delivering the CDC.

Space in a community location

Finchley Memorial Hospital is a core asset for the NHS in North Central London.  It is in an accessible community location with onsite car parking.  A key advantage of this property was its ability to deliver significant additional capacity, at pace and at an accessible location.

Data and insight

FMH was identified as a preferred location for a new Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) in North Central London following a detailed analysis of local health (both access and outcomes), demand, current service backlog and system performance by partners from across the ICS.

Support for business case development

CHP supported NHS partners to develop their CDC business case to secure national funding, providing data and cost estimates.  To date, the project has secured over £26m in capital and revenue funding to support the site’s development and the costs of operations.

Project delivery

CHP worked with its LIFT supply chain partners to deliver the design and construction elements of the programme.  The additional benefit of using the public private partnership is the local knowledge of the building and ongoing maintenance responsibility.  Our Developments Team also used their cost estimator to inform early costings, saving time and setting cost expectations early.

Partnership working

Using a blend of in-house NHS delivery capability and access to a pre-procured supply chain, the partnership was able to work to deliver the necessary adaptations at speed.

The ICS ran the overarching governance and weekly project meetings, to co-ordinate the various workstreams including clinical service project management and IT which has been key to services going live for patients.

Diagnostic tests at Finchley CDC

Outcomes

Patients benefit

FMH CDC provides ease of access to diagnostic services in a community location.  Patient feedback has been good, with 100% of MRI patients saying that they have had a positive experience. The patient journey time through ophthalmology testing averages 40 minutes, compared to 2-3 hours at hospital sites.

As of January 2023, the CDC has delivered over 80,000 additional tests to patients referred from partner Trusts, helping to enable those partners to address their backlogs, whilst reducing waiting times for patients.

Increased capacity, delivered at pace

By operating out of an already established local NHS facility, the FMH CDC project has been able to deliver significant additional diagnostic capacity at pace. The diagnostic facilities available on the site include MRI and CT scanning, non-obstetric ultrasound scans, phlebotomy, ophthalmology, physiological measurement tests around audiology and respiratory and micro vascular tests.

Delivering on shared objectives

The FMH CDC partnership is focused on service improvement, cost reduction and value for money in all aspects of the CDC design and it has made excellent progress in meeting its stated objectives.

Achieving value

Economies of scale are achieved by growing services that can utilise the same overheads and staff, thereby reducing costs per scan.  The focus on working creatively across the partnership to maximise the use of a core asset has increased FMH utilisation by at least 10% during the year.  This has been achieved at a nil increase in the “rent” paid by the NHS, helping them to manage fixed overheads and bringing down the cost per scan. Room sensors have been installed at FMH, providing the potential to maximise room utilisation based on data in the next phase of improvements.

Resetting the relationship with public and private sector partners has enabled 500 sqm of “new” space to be created from the existing envelope for both current and proposed activity.

New MRI scanner installed August 2022

A fixed MRI scanner was winched into the hospital in July and opened to patients in August 2022.  This MRI scanner joined the existing CT and MRI scanners in mobile pods in the carpark.

Watch the video to find out more:

Phase 2 in 2023

Work is underway to expand diagnostic services at FMH CDC.  This includes installing a second MRI and CT scanner, X-ray and minimum respiratory tests for patients from Autumn 2023. 

Awards for Finchley CDC

HSJ Partnership Awards 2024

Finchley CDC was the Bronze winner for Healthcare Infrastructure Project of the Year.

HSJ Partnership Awards 2023

Finchley CDC was shortlisted for Estates Optimisation Project of the Year.

Laing Buisson Awards 2022

The Finchley Memorial Hospital Community Diagnostic Centre was recognised as a finalist in the LaingBuisson Awards 2022 Public Private Partnerships Category.

Testimonials

“CHP have been instrumental in the way they have helped us with designs and making sure we get this all going at some pace.”

CHP has worked tremendously hard with us to make it happen. We have really gone at pace, which has been incredibly difficult to do, and they’ve supported us every step of the way.

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