Over the next year a range of diagnostic services will be expanded at Clacton Hospital to create greater capacity for faster diagnoses closer to patients in Tendring. This will include:
- X-rays 8am-8pm Monday to Sunday
- Ultrasound scans – 8am-8pm Monday to Saturday
- Blood tests (walk in service, moving to pre-booked soon)
- Physiological measurements
- CT and MRI (these will be provided on site as soon as possible but additional provision is being created from Monday 2 August at the Oaks Hospital in Colchester – transport arrangements are being put in place)
- Endoscopy spoke service from Colchester Hospital
Work to develop this Community Diagnostic Hub is being led by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) with partners from GP Primary Choice and other community organisations. The Hub will support ongoing work to improve health inequalities by providing an improved experience for patients, reducing waiting times and providing greater availability of, and access to, care.
ESNEFT will be working to expand the services over the course of the year with our early implementation going live from now to October. These services will continue to extend and by March 2022, we aim to be operating 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide greater choice and capacity for local people, while reducing the backlog from COVID-19.
Clacton has been chosen as the early implementer for Suffolk and north east Essex, revolutionising services for local people in our most disadvantaged communities first. The Clacton Community Diagnostic Hub will provide employment and career opportunities for people in North East Essex as we build on and expand the use of Clacton Hospital’s existing infrastructure.
What this means for colleagues in primary care
For the time being, GP and other primary care colleagues do not need to do anything differently – the referral pathways remain the same. As the Hub develops, we will be working with you to develop pathways for direct referrals.
Please be aware of the extended opening hours for the phlebotomy walk-in service at Clacton Hospital, which are now 8am-8pm, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with a view to extend these hours. The service will also be moving to pre-booked slots rather than walk-in very soon. Further updates will be provided about this.