Great Britain

NHS bosses plan to open 160 one-stop cancer test centres on the High Street

BIG C FIGHT

NHS bosses plan to open 160 one-stop high street cancer test centres.

The hubs would provide routine checks such as MRI, X-rays and CT scans.

And officials hope they will improve early pick-up of cancer, heart disease and dementia.

It will see CT scanning capacity doubled over the next five years and the hiring of 6,000 more specialist imaging staff.

Figures show the number of sick people facing long waits for diagnostic tests rose 20-fold in lockdown.

By June, there were 580,000 waiting, compared with just 30,000 in February.

Recommendations for the high street and retail park centres, made by former cancer tsar Prof Sir Mike Richards, were approved by NHS England yesterday.

His report calls for three permanent community testing hubs to be created per million people, around 160 across England.

Patients will also be able to get blood tests six days a week.

Bigger centres could also offer mammograms, eye services, hearing tests and pregnancy scans.

Prof Sir Mike said: “Not only will these changes make services more accessible and convenient but they will help improve outcomes for patients with cancer and other serious conditions.”

The report warns extra cash is needed to implement the plan over the next five years, although “some changes can be introduced with immediate effect”.

Dr Jodie Moffat, of Cancer Research UK, said: “Improving diagnostic services is vital.”

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