We know that waiting for any health diagnosis, especially cancer, can be an extremely worrying time. Our aim is to provide equitable access to modern, state of the art, high quality diagnostics, in a timely manner.

Diagnostics play a key role within our system recovery and is at the centre of disease and patient pathways, to detect disease as early as possible and accurately guide to the right treatments. Currently, diagnostic services are mostly based in hospital settings. We want to increase the capacity, particularly in community locations, to make it even easier to access these essential services.

Delivery - MRI Radiographer.jpgOur plan includes:

  • recovery and maintenance of waiting times for diagnostic testing to pre-covid levels and meet the diagnostic standards set out for the NHS
  • equity of testing access across the system and standardisation of pathways to reduce variation and health inequalities
  • build a resilient, system-wide service for the future that provides value for money through continuous improvement in service delivery, capability and technological implementation.

Outcomes to be achieved

  • Reduced waiting times for patients, reduced uncertainty.
  • Ensuring equal access for all patients across our system.
  • Local imaging/testing, with reporting networks across organisations, improving patient experience.

  • Shared capacity and management of reporting backlogs to optimise reporting turnaround times.
  • Staffing consistency and flexibility to provide more opportunities for personal and professional development.
  • Sharing and levelling of resources (staff and equipment).

  • A cohesive, system-wide approach to quality improvement, addressing health inequalities.
  • Improved sustainability and service resilience.
  • Standardised system pathways with reduced variation.
  • Maximised economies of scale in procurement.
New CT scanner in UECC

Work Programme

Programme To be delivered

Optimise Clinical Pathways

Implement best practice timed pathways across urgent, elective and cancer services, driving efficiency and productivity, ensuring safe and patient centred pathways.


Reduce Inequalities in Access

Consider physical, cultural and social needs of different/diverse population health groups and implement actions to improve pathways and achieve equity of access.


Implement Community Diagnostic Centres (CDC)

Maximise the capacity of existing facilities, equipment and staff training; improve health outcomes through earlier, faster and more accurate diagnoses supporting recovery of waiting lists.


Develop and Implement a Workforce Strategy

Ensure a system-wide diagnostic workforce strategy aligned to the People Plan. Identify staff shortages and skills gaps to inform recruitment actions, particularly in challenged areas.

2023/24 to 2027/28

Adopted Technological/Digital Innovation

Implement innovative technologies and supporting infrastructure to improve care for patients by changing how tests are conducted and analysed.

2024/25 to 2027/28

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