Faster diagnosis and treatment at Sutton hospital thanks to new diagnostic units

Hospital bosses hope to see almost 10,000 extra patients a year with the launch of two new diagnostic units.

By Shelley Marriott
Monday, 4th October 2021, 4:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 8:05 am

Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust says about 800 patients a month – about 9,600 a year – will benefit from earlier diagnosis of serious illnesses with the launch of the units.

The trust has opened a new endoscopy unit and a mobile CT scanning unit at King’s Mill Hospital in Sutton – in the week of the 50th anniversary of the first CT scan in Sutton.

Together, the units are able to see 800 more patients a month – 200 who are waiting for urgent and routine endoscopy investigations, and 600 who are waiting for CT scans on internal organs, such as the brain, blood vessels or bones.

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The new units are located separate from the main building at King's Mill Hospital.

The units – separate from the main hospital building – are the first stage in the development of a new Community Diagnostic hub at the site, one of 40 announced this week as being set up across the country to tackle waiting times.

Dr Steve Foley, a consultant gastroenterologist at the trust, said: “This new unit is an enormous boost to our capacity and will help us bring down waiting times for diagnostic tests and ensure that many more people can start treatment or receive reassurance promptly.

"We plan to offer nearly 5,000 extra tests by the end of March, which makes a huge difference to all those patients and their loved ones.”

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Paul Robinson, trust chief executive, said: “Together with our new mobile CT scanning unit, we know the new endoscopy unit will help us to reduce unnecessary waiting for patients.

“We understand how worrying and distressing it can be for patients and their loved ones while they’re waiting for tests and investigations.

“We want to ensure we’re seeing those patients as quickly as possible, so they can either be given the all clear, or receive a diagnosis and start a plan of treatment.”

Announcing the new ‘one-stop shop diagnostic centres’, the Government said the aim was to give patients speedier diagnoses and reduce hospital visits to cut the risk of coronavirus transmission and reduce the pressure on hospitals.

The idea was recommended by Prof Sir Mike Richards, NHS cancer director, who conducted a review of diagnostic services.

He said: “The pandemic brought into sharper focus the need to overhaul the way we deliver diagnostic services, so I am delighted to see one of the key recommendations of my report becoming a reality so quickly.”

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