Oldham community diagnostic hub

Oldham obtains state-of-the-art community diagnostic hub equipped with cutting-edge technology

  • New hub set to open spring 2022 and be built one mile from Royal Oldham Hospital
  • £4.5m to be spent on project

Oldham residents are to receive earlier diagnosis of diseases such as cancer thanks to a £4.5m community diagnostic hub.

Community diagnostic hubs have been introduced as ‘one-stop shops’ since their announcement in 2020 and are intended to give patients in hospital the ability to receive an MRI or PET-CT scan on the same day.

The hub is the result of a collaboration between Oldham Council, the Northern Care Alliance and Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group.

It gives patients earlier diagnosis of diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease and means they will not have to travel out of town for a PET-CT scan.

Leader of Oldham council, Councillor Arooj Shah, said one of the biggest hurdles for patients was trying “to access vital medical services”.

“Health inequalities are a massive issue,” she said.

Councillor Dr Zahid Chauhan OBE spoke to Northern Quota: “We need to understand that we always had the diagnostic facilities in hospitals.

“However, when the specialist care is needed, people will have been travelling to the other towns and they might still have to do it in the future.

“What these diagnostic hubs do is add more diagnosis in the primary care in the community. So, people don’t have to go into the hospitals and this hopefully will be easier access.”

Councillor Chauhan said the hub would relieve pressure on hospitals dealing with an increase in Covid-19 patients.

“I’m hoping that it will reduce the pressure on various hospitals; reduction of pressure on patients, reduction of the waiting list time and hopefully a reduction of the pressure in the wider health system,” he said.

He called on the government to increase investment in health services, particularly staffing.

“[The Conservative Party] need more investment in the health and social care sector, not only in the diagnostic hubs but investment in training nurses and our doctors,” he said.

“Diagnostic hubs will work only if you have people to operate those hubs. In 2010/11, cuts to the health services and training budgets meant that we have fewer nurses, so there’s if anything they can do for us, it’s bringing back the bursaries for the nurses and more radiographers.

“So, we need a lot of investment, but also, let’s not demoralise the frontline staff. Support them, appreciate what they have done, and invest in social care because health on its own can’t survive.

“We need to bring productivity in health and social care, including workforce and investment in the services.”

The new community diagnostic hub will be operational from next spring.