The hospital has been identified as an ideal space to open a Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC), to provide local residents with access to life-saving checks closer to home and enable rapid diagnosis of a range of conditions without the need to travel to an acute hospital.
The proposed CDC will provide up to 64,339 additional scans and 27,418 blood tests per year by increasing existing capacity for ultrasound scans, blood tests and X-rays and creating new capacity for CT scans, MRI scans, respiratory and cardiac diagnostics.
Since opening in 2015, Eltham Community Hospital has housed two GP practices, musculoskeletal services (MSK), a phlebotomy (blood tests) service, X-ray services and intermediate care beds on the site.
Part of the proposals involve consolidating intermediate care beds at Eltham with a similar service run at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup, to one site at Meadow View, Queen Mary’s Hospital. Benefits of moving intermediate care to one site include better specialist care and rehabilitation so people can return home quicker, more therapists and a better environment for patients and their visitors.
NHS England and Improvement agreed to fund Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) across the country. Opening a CDC at Eltham will mean patients can access planned diagnostic care nearer to home without needing to attend acute hospital sites, with shorter waiting times and a reduced risk of cancellation.
This would mean that certain health conditions can be diagnosed earlier, faster and more accurately with easier and quicker access to tests. It will reduce the demand on diagnostic services at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, which could positively impact on hospital waiting times.
Neil Kennett-Brown, Chief Operating Officer (Greenwich), NHS South East London, South East London Integrated Care System (ICS), said: “We are excited about the investment in the community diagnostic centre which will help us to tackle health inequalities in Greenwich and beyond. We want everyone to have the best possible opportunity to access excellent and efficient care.”
“Our proposals are designed to ensure consistently high-quality diagnostic care for everyone in one place. The centres are designed to be a one stop shop for checks, scans, and tests, giving people ease of access and cutting down on multiple visits when going for tests.”
“When you bring specialist staff, equipment and resources together into a single centre like this, the patient experience is vastly improved. It will help to reduce waiting times to meet current demand and provide an opportunity for further expansion to meet future demand.”
“We are keen to hear what people think, want and everyone to have their say on the proposals during the engagement period.”
More information about the proposals can be found here: www.letstalkhealthandcareselondon.org/elthamhospital