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New Community Diagnostic Centre Confirmed for Halton Hospital

Halton Hospital in Runcorn is one of the next ten sites to receive funding to create a Community Diagnostic Centre, part of the Government’s national programme aimed at reducing Covid-19-related backlogs.

The national Community Diagnostics Centre programme aims to deploy 160 centres around the country at a cost of £2.3 billion of which 92 are already operational and which have delivered more than two million tests and checks since July 2021.

The hospital Trust applied for the funding in two tranches, the first phase – valued at £10.5m - will enable a smaller ‘Fast-Track CDC’ within the existing Nightingale building (the former General Hospital) to provide additional diagnostic capacity across several services. This includes:

• Upgrading the existing MRI scanner in the Captain Sir Tom Moore building to extend its useful life and improve productivity

• Additional rooms to accommodate lung tests and sleep studies

• Significant additional diagnostic equipment to support future expansion in line with demand growth including CT, MRI, X-ray, phlebotomy equipment and point-of-care testing

• Additional capacity for ultrasound and phlebotomy (blood tests)

• A new multi-storey car park to accommodate larger patient numbers and future-proof access to the site for further growth

The Fast-Track CDC will increase throughput and capacity for tests and checks, provide additional staff and enable the refurbishment and modernisation of currently unsuitable estate. Importantly, as well as meeting current and future demand for the Trust it will also support the wider Cheshire and Merseyside footprint through a ‘mutual aid’ scheme – with the aim of achieving a maximum six-week diagnostic wait across the entire region.

Lucy Gardner, Director of Strategy and Partnerships said:

“Creating a CDC at Halton is major strategic investment which will not just benefit the patients of Halton and Warrington, but the wider Cheshire and Merseyside region as we work together to tackle extended waiting times and backlogs that accumulated because of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as addressing health inequalities and deprivation linked to this region.

“It also enables us to test the foundation for a potential larger-scale development of a new-build CDC at Halton which would see the Captain Sir Tom Moore building extended – a critical enabler of the Trust’s new hospitals programme.”

The Fast Track CDC is set to open in Spring 2023 with completion of the multi-story car park in the summer of 2024.

Picture of the outside of Halton Hospital Entrance 2

Pictured above: Entrance 2 of the Nightingale Building, Halton Hospital.