Birmingham’s first Community Diagnostic Centre opens to patients

Birmingham’s first NHS Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) officially opened on  4 July.  The £2.18 million centre will provide local residents with a one stop shop for appointments to diagnose an array of illnesses as part of work to combat the impact of growing waiting lists across the NHS.

Located at Washwood Heath Health and Wellbeing Centre, one of CHP’s LIFT buildings in the Midlands, more than 45,000 patients each year will benefit from the latest cutting edge diagnostic imaging technology for X-ray, MRI and ultrasound, alongside heart investigations and access to blood tests.

Open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm, the CDC provides convenient access and free parking for patients referred by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB).

One of the centre’s first patients, Momodou Sonko, who had an echocardiogram as part of a routine check-up, cut a ribbon to mark the occasion.  The CDC aims to help cut waiting lists and provide better access to diagnostics in our region. 

Momodou Sonko, aged 56 from Hodge Hill, Birmingham said:

I went to the CDC for an appointment to check how everything is going with my heart.  From when I arrived and having the investigation, the service was really good. It wasn’t long before I was called in to be seen, and the staff member explained clearly what would happen during the investigation.  I was really impressed.  It’s not always easy to find your way around in a hospital. The CDC was a great setting to be in.

This new facility will be a huge benefit for local people with more local access to such services allowing for shorter journeys, and patients not having to receive their test or scan inside the busy hospital setting, which can invoke anxiety for many patients.
By providing a more local service with these essential diagnostic services all in one place, the NHS can provide a diagnosis more quickly, consequently this allows for quicker access to treatments where appropriate too - helping to improve health outcomes for our communities. UHB has invested significantly in services in order to reduce waiting times following the COVID-19 pandemic which saw waiting lists grow. Our aim is to continue to bring these waiting lists down and ensure patients receive the care they deserve. The CDC along with the new Heartlands Treatment Centre, which offers a range of diagnostic, and day care services, and the new wards built at Good Hope, Heartlands and Queen Elizabeth hospitals, are a key part of this.

Casey and Maria (l to r) from the Washwood Health CDC cardiology team
Mariam, Jody and Reggie (l to r) from the Washwood Health CDC imaging team

This is a significant and important step for our health and care system, helping to ensure that diagnostic services are accessible to our patients and communities closer to home, reducing healthcare inequalities.

We are really pleased to have been able to work with our health partners to deliver this excellent facility for the local community. Our buildings are core NHS estate and ideally placed to support the NHS in meeting clinical and patient needs.

Wendy Farrington-Chadd, CHP CEO with the CHP team

CDCs are part of the Government’s £2.3 billion national investment to open up to 160 CDCs by 2025 closer to patients’ homes, helping to diagnose a range of conditions including cancer, heart and lung disease quicker and ensuring patients are treated faster.

The Washwood Heath Health and Wellbeing Centre is one of the biggest centres in England providing a comprehensive range of diagnostic services in addition to the GP and community services already available in the building.  

The Washwood Heath CDC is delivered in collaboration with Birmingham and Solihull (BaS) LIFTCo and their Management services provider Prime plc. 

It has been a privilege to bring our experience of developing and investing in high-quality healthcare facilities to this project. BaS LIFT and Prime, in partnership with the NHS, delivered the original Washwood facility, which has proven to be a valuable healthcare asset in this area of Birmingham. As property specialists, BaS and Prime have worked alongside an expert and multi stakeholder team of clinicians, public sector partners, designers, and contractors to drive delivery of this facility at pace to align with NHS England’s ambitious national Community Diagnostic Centre programme. The introduction of this service aligns with BaS LIFTs original vision for this facility, which was to integrate healthcare delivery through the co-location of services to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes of the local community. The opening of this CDC represents another successful delivery of high-quality health and care spaces by the BaS LIFT and Prime team. We would like to congratulate everyone involved in bringing this project to fruition.

CHP in Community Locations

As an organisation CHP looks to place high quality, flexible assets in areas of high health need that can be easily repurposed for community needs. In many cases, our buildings already have at least one type of diagnostic service in operation and it is our aim to improve utilisation and eliminate void space, providing greater value for the NHS.

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