Finchley Memorial Hospital Community Diagnostic Centre celebrates 50,000 patient milestone on its first birthday

The Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) at Finchley Memorial Hospital celebrated its first birthday in August, having helped over 50,000 NHS patients across Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington get quicker access to diagnostic scans and tests since opening in 2021.

The Finchley CDC, hosted by Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, is one of 92 new specialist diagnostic hubs across England and one of two CDCs planned in the north central London (NCL) area.

CDCs are being established across the UK to increase NHS diagnostic capacity by providing new facilities and equipment, training new staff, creating new partnerships and innovative ways of delivering healthcare, whilst reducing pressures on acute sites.

Diagnostic services at Finchley CDC

Finchley Memorial Hospital CDC opened in August 2021 and was one of the first sites in the UK to begin providing services in this new and innovative way. This ambitious programme has rapidly grown from a single mobile CT scanner to now include one fixed and one mobile MRI scanner and two non-obstetric ultrasound machines. Diagnostic services currently available include MRI and CT scans, non-obstetric ultrasound scans, blood tests, ophthalmology, and other cardiology, respiratory and microvascular tests. The new, dedicated MRI suite opened last week with the first fixed scanner now operational.

Over the next year, other work taking place at the Finchley CDC includes:

  • Further expansion of the MRI suite with an additional fixed scanner
  • Installing a fixed CT scanner
  • Developing x-ray services
  • Expanding respiratory services to include sleep testing (in addition to lung function tests currently offered)

The Finchley Memorial Hospital was chosen as one of the first CDC sites because it could be opened quickly, is easily accessible and it’s more cost effective and straightforward to set up new services in an existing healthcare facility. It is a model of sustainable design and construction, taking into account the drive to reduce the carbon footprint of the NHS.

Partnership working at Finchley CDC

NHS trusts providing services from the Finchley CDC site include Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and Central London Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (CLCH).

Community Health Partnerships is the head tenant for Finchley Memorial Hospital working in partnership with North London Estate Partnerships (LIFTCo), North Central London ICS (NCL Health and Care)  NHS North Central London ICB and alongside Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust as the CDC host.  gbpartnerships consult are delivering the CDC project.

Diagnostic scan referrals to Finchley CDC

Patients needing scans can be referred to the new CDC by any of their local hospitals, supporting NHS trusts to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on diagnostic waiting lists. Patients can still choose to attend their own hospital, but since Finchley is  open seven days a week from 8am until 8pm, patients are welcoming the convenience and flexibility this offers them to attend their appointments.

Finchley CDC blood test service

All residents in north central London can also now benefit from the CDC’s new phlebotomy service opening times. A patient with a GP referral and form can now book an appointment between 7am and 8pm Monday to Friday, and between 8am and 8pm on Saturday and Sunday. Tests can be booked online 24 hours a day, or via the telephone booking service on 0208 349 7460 between 7am and 12pm Monday to Friday, making blood testing much more accessible for patients with busy lives, family and work commitments

Further work is now underway to ensure all the different hospital and GP computer systems across north central London can link up and share patient diagnostic images and reports. In due course this will enable GPs to refer patients directly to Finchley, meaning shorter waiting times and an improved, more seamless experience for patients.

main entrance Finchley Memorial Hospital a white render and glass building

Dr Ash Saini, Consultant Radiologist, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and North Central London Imaging lead, said “It has been both exciting and rewarding to see how the CDC at Finchley Memorial Hospital has increased the number and range of essential diagnostic tests it has to offer patients in the past year. Patients tell us that having access to this service gives them peace of mind and confidence in the NHS’s ability to treat them in a timely way. I’d also like to pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of the CDC staff who have made this possible.”

Jonathan Gardner, Director of Strategy at Whittington Health NHS Trust and Lead for Delivery of CDCs in NCL said: “I’m delighted that Finchley Memorial Hospital Community Diagnostic Centre has seen an incredible 50,000 patients from north central London in its first year. Every one of these appointments has supported our hospitals to recover from the impact of the pandemic and improved access to diagnostic tests for our patients. Our two local CDCs are a great example of how different parts of the NHS are working together in new and innovative ways for patients to access tests and scans, reducing the time they have to wait.”

160 CDCs are planned to open in the UK by the end of 2025.

How CHP supports CDC planning

CHP has substantial delivery capabilities, and a procurement safe supply chain so we can respond to requests for CDC feasibility studies and adaptions quickly and efficiently.

We have regional packs providing details about the CDC opportunities in your area

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