The new £4.5m NHS site in Oldham that could benefit 30,000 a year

By Stephen Topping

A new £4.5m NHS centre in Oldham could soon provide faster test results for more than 30,000 people a year.

Plans have been announced for a new 'one-stop shop' for checks, scans and tests at Salmon Fields, in Royton, which health bosses hope to have open as early as next spring.

Oldham has been chosen as one of 40 sites across England to open a new Community Diagnostic Centre for scans.

READ MORE: 'Amazing' schoolgirl, 12, died from coronavirus just six days after developing 'minor cough'

It's hoped the new facility will lead to earlier diagnosis of both cancer and cardio-respiratory disease, shorter waiting times and more convenient access for patients.

Barney Schofield, director of planning and delivery for NCA, said: “Our local teams have already made great progress in ramping scans and tests back up to pre-pandemic levels, and this new investment will help us go even further - while also providing a more convenient option for patients.

“The Community Diagnostic Centre in Oldham will be one of the very first in the region and one of the most innovative schemes in England and will provide local patients with some of the most advanced diagnostic technology available to the NHS.

"It will help to make diagnostic tests more convenient, with shorter waits and give us better ability to deliver multiple tests on the same day, away from our main hospital sites.

"Ultimately our ambition is to diagnose disease at an earlier stage of progression, where chances of successful treatment are improved.”

NCA says the Oldham site is the first stage of its wider Community Diagnostics strategy - with new facilities later set to be developed in Salford for imaging, pathology and cardio-respiratory diagnostics.

In the first phase, the Oldham site will be able to provide a full range of diagnostic imaging technology and lung tests.

It will also provide patients with access to PET-CT scans in partnership with The Christie - which patients currently have to travel to South Manchester or Wigan for.

Chris Brookes, interim chief executive at NCA, said: "Rapid diagnosis will save lives and these one-stop shops for checks, scans and tests in the heart of our local communities will not only make services more accessible and convenient for patients but they will also help us to improve outcomes for patients with cancer and other serious conditions, ultimately sparing more patients and families the pain and trauma of disease.

“Our teams across the NCA have continued to provide routine care, throughout the pandemic, alongside treating thousands of seriously ill Covid patients in hospital, and the roll-out of the community diagnostic centre in Oldham will help us to spot problems sooner, when they are easier to treat.”

NHS bosses say patients will be able to have multiple tests on the same day at the same building, while the site should also reduce visits to hospital, helping to reduce the risk of Covid transmission.

It's hoped the site will also help to reduce the NHS's carbon footprint by reducing the number of patient journeys and providing the tests in one location.

Mike Barker, accountable officer at NHS Oldham clinical commissioning group, added: “We welcome this development as it will add additional diagnostic capacity for Oldham patients.

"This fits with our ongoing aspiration to bring services out of hospital and into the community wherever possible. We look forward to working with local GPs and patients to make sure we get the maximum benefit from the new hub."

A formal planning application is due to be submitted soon for the new facility at Salmon Fields, and NCA hopes to have a decision in the next couple of months.

Nationally, the government hopes 2.8 million scans a year will be carried out at the 40 new centres, as part of a £350 million scheme.

Get the latest news from where you live straight to your email inbox by subscribing to the free MyOldham newsletter here.


What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.