England’s new community diagnostic centres have already delivered more than 700,000 additional tests, the Government has announced.
Implemented as part of a £36 billion investment in the health and social care system, 73 centres are already in action across the country, with plans for up to 87 more by 2025.
According to the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC), these centres are providing around 30,000 CT, MRI, endoscopy and ultrasound tests a week as the Government ramps up efforts to tackle the NHS backlog.
More than six million people in England are on the waiting list for elective care due to the pandemic’s added pressure on the health service.
The Government’s health care investment will be funded through a UK-wide health and social care levy, based on national insurance contributions paid by working adults.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said the levy, which comes into effect on Wednesday, April 6, will improve health services without burdening those on low and middle incomes.
He said: “From Wednesday, the Health and Social Care Levy will raise billions to improve services that really matter to the public, and help us recover and reform as we begin to live with Covid.
“This is vital funding for the NHS that will clear the Covid backlogs, helping to reduce waiting times, deliver millions more checks, scans and operations, and reform the adult social care system.
“This critical investment in our nation’s future will be paid for by those with the broadest shoulders, whilst those on low and middle incomes are protected.”
In addition to the community centres, the funding will help deliver an increase in the health system’s capacity for checks, scans and operations, as well as the addition of new surgical hubs and the expansion of cancer-focused operating theatres and diagnostic centres.