To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the activity conducted in community diagnostic centres, how her Department and NHS England define (a) tests, (b) checks and (c) scans; which specific tests, checks and scans are conducted across the community diagnostic centres programme; and whether she has plans to make provision for further tests, checks and scans to be conducted in community diagnostic centres.
In line with the recommendations of the Richards’ Review (2021), community diagnostic centres (CDCs) must offer a minimum set of diagnostic services across the following core modalities:
- imaging, for example, computerised tomography, magnetic resonance imaging;
- physiological measurement, for example, echocardiography, spirometry; and
- pathology, for example, phlebotomy, urine testing.
Large CDCs must also offer endoscopy services, for example, gastroscopy and colonoscopy, as part of their core offer.
There are no current plans to expand the core list of services required by CDCs. CDCs are however encouraged to offer other tests beyond the minimum requirement where this may be appropriate and deemed to be a priority locally. NHS England does not currently publish a breakdown of all CDC activity.
There are 135 CDCs currently operational, and the CDC programme has delivered over five million tests since reporting in July 2021, which is currently ahead of planned programme activity. The Government has also confirmed it is now on track to meet its target to open up to 160 CDCs by March 2025, and expects to achieve this a year early in March 2024.