Bid to cut waiting lists

A diagnostic centre will open at Cribbs Causeway next year to help cut NHS waiting lists.

It will offer endoscopy, MRI and CT scans, ultrasounds, blood and lung tests and more to thousands of people in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

The centre is one of a number being opened by private sector providers in a bid to help the record 7.5 million people who are waiting for diagnosis and treatment.

Mobile units are currently running at Southmead and Cossham hospitals to provide additional endoscopy and imaging capacity for patients until the fixed centres open.

Health chiefs say siting more diagnostics in communities and at accessible sites mean hospitals will be able to focus on more complex cases and on urgent and emergency care, with less chance that people see appointments postponed at times of high demand.

Dr Joanne Medhurst, chief medical officer at NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board, said: “We are really excited to be investing in our diagnostic capacity, which will support thousands of people across the area to be seen more quickly – this means that if you do have a serious illness it can be identified and treated earlier – which can mean, in the longer term, less impact on overall health and wellbeing.”

North Bristol NHS Trust chief medical officer, Tim Whittlestone, said: “Providing additional diagnostic scans and tests will be incredibly positive for the experience of our patients.We are already seeing benefits for patients who have used our mobile units for endoscopy, MRI and CT scans since May and are looking forward to being able to deliver even more for the population when the Cribbs Causeway site opens next year.”