Major new test centre opens to relieve pressure on Telford and Shrewsbury hospitals
A new health centre designed to take the pressure off Shropshire's over-stretched hospitals has opened in Telford.
The Community Diagnostic Centre is based at Hollinswood House, on Stafford Park 1, and will provide a range of tests and services which previously required patients to attend hospital.
These include blood tests and other non-urgent diagnostic tests and scans.
The centre is being operated by Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) , and is specifically intended to relieve pressure on Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.
Services offered at the centre include CT, non-obstetric ultrasound, blood tests and X-rays.
In an update, health bosses said the different sections of the centre are being opened in phases.
MRI is expected to arrive next month and cardio-respiratory tests and dermoscopy will be introduced in January.
The ground floor is the first area to open, providing pathology and radiology services – blood tests and scans.
More than 100 patients had blood test appointments on Monday as it opened, with the first CT and X-rays taking place from Tuesday.
Sara Biffen, acting chief operating officer for SaTH, said: “The centre will see elective diagnostic tests delivered away from the two acute hospital sites, Princess Royal Hospital in Telford and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, and separately from urgent diagnostic scans.
“This will help to reduce waiting times for patients waiting for non-urgent tests.
“This is an exciting new development which will help to improve clinical outcomes and the quality of the patient’s experience. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in shaping this new facility.”
Alison Bussey, chief nursing officer for NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said: “The opening of this fantastic new facility in the community is testament to the hard work of staff across the local health and care system.
“On behalf of our Integrated Care System, I want to thank everyone involved in its development and the residents who engaged right at the start of its planning and design who overwhelmingly supported the initiative and the benefits it will bring.”
Dr Angus McGregor, clinical director of pathology for The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said: “The addition of the Community Diagnostic Centre will offer our patients more choice as to where to have their blood tests.
“Patients on arrival will have access to the excellent services already provided by our trained phlebotomists from the Princess Royal Hospital.”
Patients can book their blood test online at sath.nhs.uk/bloodtests or by calling the booking line on 01743 492510, Monday to Friday from 9am-4pm, excluding weekends and bank holidays.
Renal dialysis for low-risk patients will be located in the same building as the Community Diagnostic Centre, moving from Princess Royal Hospital in Telford later this year.
SaTH said that patients and members of the public have helped to design the service, which will be provided in "a much more spacious environment".
The acute renal dialysis service will remain at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.