CDC success creates ideal model for patient pathway reforms

By Jo Makosinski | Published: 14-Apr-2023

Modular CT building created in five months on listed hospital site creates capacity for thousands more patients to be seen via ‘one-stop-shop’ diagnostics

The success of Northwich’s Victoria Infirmary (VIN) Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) has enabled more patients to be seen in Cheshire for quick frontline diagnostic imaging, reducing waiting times and freeing up pressure on acute hospital scanners.

In less than a year, thousands more patients have attended for CT scans and other tests, improving the care experience and reducing the need for multiple attendances at different hospital locations.

And the modular CT building has been fully integrated onto the existing Victoria Infirmary listed building by Canon Medical Systems UK.

The turnkey project involved creating the additional CT scanning facility by demolishing an old casualty building, knocking through, and adding an integrated modular building containing an AI-assisted Aquilion Prime SP CT scanner. 

The centre houses an AI-assisted Aquilion Prime SP CT scanner

The centre houses an AI-assisted Aquilion Prime SP CT scanner

Karen Bowman, general manager at the hospital, which is part of Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Two thousand outpatient, follow-up, or high-risk-query CT scans have been enabled in nine months due to the creation of the CDC.

“This means more people have been seen sooner than would have been previously possible.

“We are even calling people to arrange CT scans on the same day they have seen their GP.

“The dedicated CDC means that the pressure burden on our acute hospital scanners at Leighton Hospital has been relieved. That’s thousands of CT appointments removed from our frontline acute scanners, giving them the dedicated focus they need for emergency or advanced imaging such as cardiac and CT colonoscopy.

“We’re now seeing happy, grateful patients and this has had a direct impact on our radiology team, increasing morale with reduced pressure.”

She added: “The future aim of outpatient diagnostics is making more tests available and closer to patients.

“The CDC model has proven itself here and given us confidence.

“And, as we start to plan our new hospital, we will look to focus on provision for acutely-unwell patients and those with higher-risk, elective care needs and move more diagnostics and non-hospital-reliant services closer to our patients’ homes.

“The success of the CDC so far has also enabled us to start conversations about enhancing other care pathways via a ‘one-stop-shop' approach such as our cancer services.” 

And Billy Erwin, account manager at Canon Medical Systems UK, said: “Separating acute and outpatient care is at the heart of the CDC philosophy to create efficiencies and speed up patient diagnosis.

“Victoria Infirmary has achieved so much already by embracing its CDC opportunity and we look forward to supporting the trust to optimise future plans to streamline pathways and evolve its community service offerings.

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