Press release

NHS Confederation responds to DHSC's announcement of new Community Diagnostic Centres

Rory Deighton, director of NHS Confederation's Acute Network responds to the Elective Recovery Taskforce's plan for new community diagnostic centres

4 August 2023

Responding to the Department of Health and Social Care's announcement of thirteen new community diagnostic centres, Rory Deighton, director of NHS Confederation's Acute Network said:

“New investment in diagnostic services is welcome and will bring critical additional capacity to support the elective and diagnostic recovery.

“With 7.4m people on waiting lists, the independent sector could have a significant role to play in the elective recovery and utilising it to provide community diagnostic services could speed up care for thousands of patients.

“However, to fully harness this extra capacity, real funding needs to be made available. We’re seeing our members across England not using the independent sector as much as they might, because Trusts have been signed up to deliver 5.5% efficiency targets. As such they don’t have the monies available to invest in additional capacity, be it in the NHS or independent sector. We should be upfront and honest about this."

“The NHS’s partnership with the independent sector works most effectively where there is long term funding certainty, that allows local partnerships to be built and sustained over time. That’s not there at the moment. This provision of this resource, along with an end to the industrial action will be critical if these centres are to be successful.”

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We are the membership organisation that brings together, supports and speaks for the whole healthcare system in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The members we represent employ 1.5 million staff, care for more than 1 million patients a day and control £150 billion of public expenditure. We promote collaboration and partnership working as the key to improving population health, delivering high-quality care and reducing health inequalities.