Greater Manchester CDC Diagnostic Pathways

9th May 2024

Patient lying on CT machine table at radiology clinic

We have significant experience in diagnostics ranging from pathology, imaging, endoscopy and community diagnostic centres. Recently we worked with the Greater Manchester Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) Programme and local acute healthcare providers to design, develop, articulate, and pilot diagnostic pathways. Additionally, we created a bespoke Pathway Development Toolkit to offer a sustainable approach for replicating similar work on other pathways in the future.

CDC Pathway Approach Infographic

The Greater Manchester CDC Programme is part of the Diagnostics Network and collaborates with other diagnostic programmes within the region such as imaging and pathology. It unites the region’s five CDC providers: Bolton NHS Foundation Trust (FT), Manchester University NHS FT, Northern Care Alliance NHS FT, Tamesi FT, and Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS FT.

The Challenge

NHS England commissioned us to develop a standardised approach / toolkit for developing diagnostic CDC pathways in Greater Manchester. We also designed and documented seven key pathways. The pathways we looked at were at varying stages of development:

  • Some existing pathways were undergoing improvements to enhance CDC utilisation.
  • Some live pathways required case studies to review their progress, measure their success and share their learning.
  • Some pathways were new and required design and documentation.

Our Approach

We adopted a structured approach with each clinical team, tailoring where necessary to ensure we used our time and expertise wisely. We carried out scoping with each clinical team, engaging with key clinical and operational representatives, before going on to map out, measure and document the pathways. We carried out scoping with each clinical team, ensuring we engaged with the right clinical and operational representatives, before going on to map out, measure and document the pathways.

To ensure a comprehensive, system-wide approach, we involved other key groups such as NHS England leads, Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance, GPs, and Primary Care professionals. We provided expertise in designing metrics to measure pathway success (or learning) and guidance on data collection. We also analysed data from the case study pilots to identify key learning points and potential next steps after the pilots / go lives.

The Outcome

At the end of the project, we held virtual lessons learned sessions for Greater Manchester colleagues on four diagnostic pathways. We also created an NHS Futures site, that hosts our main outputs, including our comprehensive and bespoke 80+ page Pathway Development Toolkit along with the seven pathway documents and four case studies. This resource enables further development and shared learning across Greater Manchester.

Our client feedback said:

“You have far exceeded my , which were already high, and done a fantastic job in building and maintaining momentum across multiple stakeholders. The work has been well considered and executed brilliantly Having dedicated resource to focus on this work has turned out to be a fantastic decision, the flexibility has been a blessing, where a pathway started to fade you’ve been able to redirect your resource to an alternative and have created documents and principles that will be of great benefit both now and in the future.”  – Programme Lead GM CDC Programme