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Award-winning CDC expands imaging services in Barnsley Town Centre

Since April 2022, Barnsley’s 240,000 citizens have benefitted from more accessible diagnostic testing thanks to a state-of-the-art Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) situated in the Glass Works shopping mall in the heart of Barnsley, South Yorkshire. With the aim of expanding healthcare services to the local community, the project involved installing Aquilion Prime SP, a CT from chosen supplier, Canon Medical Systems.

Developed by Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, in collaboration with Barnsley Facilities Services (BFS), the CDC provides vital testing and screening services including phlebotomy, non-obstetric ultrasound diagnostics, breast screening, plain film X-rays and bone density scans. Following an initial allocation of approximately £2.8 million of capital funding via the national CDC programme, Barnsley CDC was awarded a further sum of around £4.6 million at the beginning of 2023 for expansion of the facility.

This included the installation of the new CT system in September 2023. Additional healthcare services now include computerised tomography (CT), abdominal aortic aneurysm screening (AAA), Urodynamics, capsule endoscopy and retinal eye screening. 

The recently installed Aquilion Prime SP offers fast patient throughput to robust cardiac scanning and new diagnostic capabilities. The Canon Medical equipment is installed with additional software including Advanced Intelligent Clear-IQ Engine (AiCE), Tech Assist Lateral and SureSubtraction. Trained using vast amounts of high-quality image data, reconstructed with an advanced model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) algorithm, AI-assisted CT such as AiCE reduce noise and boost signal to deliver sharp, clear and distinct images at speed. 

Heralded as ‘a leading example of modern healthcare infrastructure and modern diagnostics’, Barnsley CDC was awarded ‘Project of the Year’ at the Healthcare Estates and Facilities Management Awards in May 2023. Since its opening, waiting times for non-obstetric ultrasound diagnostics  have been cut by half (from six weeks in March 2022 to three weeks in September 2022) and the uptake rate for breast screening increased from around half (50%) in April 2022 to almost three quarters (72%) by October 2022. As of February 2023, staff had provided over 40,000 checks and scans. Following the installation of the Aquilion Prime SP, it is estimated that the total throughput of patients at Barnsley CDC will rise to approximately 70,000 annually. 

Liz Elfleet, Medical Imaging Manager at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, explains, “As an NHS Trust, we have a long-standing relationship with Canon Medical Systems UK. They provide excellent technology, and the equipment is backed by superior training along with excellent service support. Since this latest installation, the team has seen improved image quality and greater productivity, leading to faster patient examinations. This has resulted in a further reduction to our waiting lists for patients.” 

Barnsley is among the most deprived 10% of communities in England. Life expectancy for men is 2.3 years lower than the national average, and 2 years lower for women. Providing access to preventative screening is critical to help early detection of diseases. 

The continued expansion of diagnostics services in the community means patients can attend scans and blood tests in a more relaxed environment, encouraging those who feel intimidated by a traditional hospital environment to attend appointments, and help in earlier detection of disease. It also eases pressure on existing hospital and GP services within the Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. This is part of wider NHS plans to reduce waiting times for routine procedures and help diagnose life-threatening conditions, such as cancer, earlier.  

Billy Erwin, Account Manager at Canon Medical Systems Europe commented: “We’re very pleased to provide the new Aquilion Prime SP to Barnsley CDC. Installation of the latest medical imaging equipment means that Barnsley citizens benefit from better care, as well as access to a broader range of diagnostic services, helping to redress health inequalities in the local community.” 

Liz Elfleet added, “We’re committed to helping local people live happy, healthy lives. By bringing diagnostic tests to Barnsley town centre, we can offer scans earlier and in a more friendly and accessible location. Residents have been involved in how we’ve transformed the centre – even the artwork that’s on the walls was chosen by the patient experience group.

"We didn’t want it to look like a healthcare environment. People feel more at ease visiting a shopping centre rather than a hospital setting. They can do their shopping or go to the cinema and attend their appointment at the same time. The Glass Works has a range of accessible parking options and is conveniently located for Barnsley residents.” 

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Upcoming Events

Infection Prevention & Control

National Conference Centre, Birmingham
23rd - 24th April 2024

ESGE Days 2024, Symposium – ‘Elevating Endoscopy: Inspiring Progress and Innovation’

Estrel Congress Center (room 15), Berlin, Germany
25th April 2024, 16:30 – 17:30 CEST

National DERS and SMART pump conference

BCEC, Birmingham
29th April 2024

Theatres & Decontamination Conference 2024

Coventry Building Society Arena
16th May 2024

The AfPP Roadshow - Birmingham

Millennium Point, Birmingham
18th May 2024

BAUN Summer Educational Event – Essential Urology Skills

Crowne Plaza, Newcastle Stephenson Quarter
6th June 2024

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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