Support for Manchester and Trafford Community Diagnostic Centres Programme

25th April 2023

Community Diagnostic Centres MRI scan equipment

Our team of experts provide a wide range of skills and experience to meet our client’s needs. We used our programme management expertise to support Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust to implement Community Diagnostic services in Manchester and Trafford. These services mean that patients can access a range of elective diagnostic services closer to home. The benefits of doing this are waiting times will be shorter for the patient, and they are less likely to cancel appointments.

The Challenge

The client commissioned the NHS Transformation Unit (TU) to review the existing programme structure, and provide a team support the implementation of community diagnostic services. This included:

  • increasing the number of available diagnostic appointments in Year 1
  • developing a ‘hub and spoke’ model to provide additional sites for more routine procedures
  • developing a new Breathlessness Pathway to fast-track diagnosis for patients experiencing breathlessness
  • developing the operating model for the new Community Diagnostic Hub
  • securing funding for Years 2-4 through NHS England Business Case process
  • expanding services to increase access to community diagnostics in Manchester and Trafford.

Our Approach

Our team applied the Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) methodology to review the structure of the programme. Members of our team worked alongside the client lead and colleagues at MFT to collaboratively deliver the programme.

National decisions caused sudden changes to the strategic direction of the programme. We worked dynamically to flex our resource to respond to these changes.

We wrote the Short Form Business Case to fund the development of the community diagnostic hub at Withington Community Hospital.

Our analytics team provided support to ensure we had the appropriate insights to inform key decisions. Our analysts produced a range of outputs including:

  • geospatial mapping to support travel analysis
  • dashboards to provide assurance on the proposed location of Cardiorespiratory spoke sites
  • a range of visualisations to demonstrate health inequalities across Manchester and Trafford.

The Outcome

Our support helped to deliver over 95,000 additional diagnostic tests in 2022-23. This overperformed against our activity plan by more than 25%. These additional tests resulted in more patients being able to have their symptoms checked and receive a potentially life-saving diagnosis in a shorter timeframe.

The Short Form Business Case secured £14.9m in capital funding to develop the hub at Withington Community Hospital.

Our support enabled the client to gain approval for revenue funding of more than £12m for Year 3 of the programme.

Client Feedback

“We were given notice that funding had been granted to start what was going to be a very ambitious programme. The time frames for delivery were short and we did not have staff in post to start the work. We approached the Transformation Unit for assistance, and they took on the work with enthusiasm and vigour. The TU team totally committed to the programme and embedded themselves in our structures, successfully delivering an outstanding programme of work.”

Tim Keeler – Chief Executive, Clinical and Scientific Services, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust