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female technician using a digital ecg with a male patient on the bed. Equipment readout shows a heart beat

Partnership working is key to delivering Community Diagnostic Centres across the Tees Valley

The NHS spends over £6bn pa on over 100 diagnostic services and carries out an estimated 1.5 billion diagnostic tests. Diagnostic activity forms part of over 85% of clinical pathways. Community Diagnostics Centres (CDCs) are one-stop-shops for checks, scans and tests in local communities.  NHS E/I are rolling out 160 CDCs bringing tests closer to home, improving access and reducing patient waiting times meaning patients can be seen when and where is most convenient.

Community Health Partnerships (CHP) have early adopter CDC sites, including Finchley Memorial Hospital CDC which opened in 2021. (Finchley Memorial CDC case study) with more CDCs in development across England including Lawson Street Health Centre (LSHC) in Stockton-on-Tees. LHSC is part of the Tees Valley Hub and spoke model.

Minor works were overseen by CHP and building landlord Durham and Tees community ventures including installing air conditioning to mitigate heat generated by scanning equipment.  Work included installing air conditioning to mitigate the heat generated by scanning units.

Community Diagnostic Centre Lawson Street Health Centre, Stockton-on-Tees

LSHC is a three-storey 3200m2 healthcare centre with two GP surgeries, a pharmacy along with community dental health, the district health team as well as musculoskeletal, and sexual health services. As with most CHP buildings, bookable rooms are available for sessional services via CHP’s self service Tenant Access Portal (TAP).

The CDC will be on the ground floor of the health centre in an area previously used by a GP surgery. Diagnostic services provided within the CDC will include Ultrasound and Echocardiograms. 

Previously patients travelled to University Hospital of Hartlepool, 25 minutes away, for these tests so having a site within their local community delivers increased choice and accessibility for those patients who were previously travelling the furthest.  LSHC is an ideal location, and we were able to work with partners to make space available for the CDC services.

Partnership working across the Tees Valley

CHP and Durham and Tees Community Ventures worked alongside the Tees Valley ICP Diagnostics Collaborative led by North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, with NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) and NHS PS teams. The collaborative worked to ensure their CDC design and implementation plan is tailored to local population health needs.  All organisations are within the North East and North Cumbria ICS footprint, helping to develop a Community Diagnostic Centre strategy for the patients across the Tees Valley.

CHP is working with teams on a shared vision to deliver the CDC at the Lawson Street site; regular visits and meetings took place with the clinicians and managers delivering the services with Trust estates teams to confirm services and upgrades to the CDC space.  There were regular meetings with the existing tenants to identify solutions that work will for them and the incoming services.

For the CDC at Lawson Street regular structured meetings enabled open and honest dialogue to take place between all interested parties, which ensured that all issues were dealt with swiftly and effectively.

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