New report highlights staff shortages in diagnostics
A NEW report highlights on-going staff shortages, insufficient workforce planning and funding are affecting a flagship programme to provide better access to diagnostic tests.
Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) provide essential diagnostic services, encompassing imaging, physiological measurement, and pathology to meet high healthcare demand.
A report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Diagnostics (APPGD), however, has said workforce capacity remains a limiting factor in realising the benefits of the CDC programme without adequate staffing to operate them.
The inquiry by the APPGD into CDCs did find that diagnostic capacity has been expanded to help bring down waiting lists in some areas and, when situated in the heart of communities, they offer convenient services to those who may not typically seek healthcare.
Maggie Throup MP, Chair of the APPGD, said: ‘However, challenges persist, especially in terms of delivery speed. Workforce capacity remains a limiting factor. It is impossible to realise the benefits of the programme without adequate staffing to operate CDCs.
‘Currently CDCs rely on a rotation model due to short staffing. Questions remain over how the programme plans to expand the workforce to meet demand and how NHS England’s Long Term Workforce Plan will play into this.’
Dr Anna Barnes, IPEM’s President, said: ‘There are clear benefits of the CDC programme but they are being hampered by workforce capacity. The report highlights there is an urgent need to expand the diagnostic workforce in line with growing patient demand.’