Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer and MP for South West Surrey, visited Milford Hospital on Friday 3rd February to view plans underway for a new Community Diagnostic Centre. He was joined by Louise Stead, Royal Surrey Chief Executive and Ian Smith, Chair of Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Board.
The group viewed the new X-ray facility which is already up and running and the building works that are currently underway to create new Ultrasound, Echocardiogram and Phlebotomy Suites.
They also visited the site where a new unit will be built to house CT and MRI machines, including a new access road to make navigating the site easier for patients and visitors. It is expected that this major build will take around three years to complete.
All of this work is contributing to the development of Milford as a Community Diagnostic Centre. These are facilities located out in the community, away from big and busy hospital sites, that can offer patients access to tests and scans more quickly. The plan is that patients receive a ‘one shop stop’ service with everything completed in a single visit, avoiding multiple visits to hospital. For many patients this will also mean accessing care closer to home and receiving a quicker diagnosis.
Chief Executive Louise Stead said: “Community Diagnostic Centres are one of many ways the NHS is innovating and evolving services and we are excited that Milford is part of this. We all know how busy and pressured the big hospital sites with A&E departments are and Royal Surrey is no different. We also know that travelling to Guildford and parking at Royal Surrey during busy times can be really challenging for patients. Offering this service in Milford, which is a totally different type of hospital site, will provide a much better experience for patients. I know from the feedback we receive that being able to have all necessary tests and scans in one appointment – be that a blood test, echocardiogram, x-ray, CT scan or MRI – is also giving people the type of care they want. Ultimately it enables us to work in a much more efficient way and provide a better and quicker service to patients.”
Jeremy Hunt MP said: "In April last year the then Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced 160 community diagnostic centres would be set up by 2025. We were delighted that Milford was chosen for one of them.
"When it is finished, the centre will deliver an extra 11,000 MRIs and 9,500 CT scans as part of a 'one stop shop' where all the different tests are done together rather than patients having to go back for multiple appointments. Congratulations must go to Louise Stead and her Royal Surrey team for making it happen so quickly".