Some 14,000 potentially life-saving endoscopy tests to be made available to people in East Lancashire
Some 14,000 potentially life-saving endoscopy tests are to be made available to people in East Lancashire.
The checks could help to save thousands of lives by helping people to spot and seek treatment for conditions ranging from cancer to reflux or ulcers more quickly.
Endoscopy tests allow healthcare professionals to see inside the body using an instrument called an endoscope.
As part of a newly-approved community diagnostic centre (CDC) at Burnley General Hospital, two dedicated endoscopy rooms will be opened next spring. These will join one existing endoscopy room already offering tests to people in the area. Together they will provide up to 14,000 additional tests to patients in the two years from spring.
Tony McDonald, executive director of integrated care, partnerships and resilience at ELHT, said: “The new Burnley CDC will play a major role in making potentially life-saving diagnostic tests more easily accessible for people in East Lancashire.
“The 14,000 additional endoscopy tests will help to bring waiting times down, so that people can get the diagnosis, and treatment if they need it, sooner.”
The new endoscopy rooms will join a variety of diagnostics already provided at the site such as X-ray, ultrasound and MRI scans, meaning that patients can undergo a number of diagnostic tests in one appointment, helping to cut down the cost, time and carbon footprint of multiple visits.
East Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) and NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) are receiving national funding to deliver the community diagnostic centres across the area.
The Burnley CDC is one of around 160 others set to open across the UK by 2025. Patients will be referred to the centre by their GP.
Deborah Mitchell, the north west regional diagnostics lead for NHS England, said: “NHS staff across the region are working hard to bring down the waiting times for diagnostic tests, which have built up as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Staff have led a number of different initiatives, such as the Lancashire and South Cumbria cardiac network team, which ran an ‘echo-thon’ earlier this year, with the aim of delivering an additional 800 echocardiographs over eight weekends."