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New diagnostics hub and MRI scanner for Stratford Hospital

Millions of pounds is set to be spent on new diagnostic services at Stratford Hospital, with a second MRI scanner also on its way.

The investment in Stratford’s community diagnostics hub is designed to make it quicker, easier and more convenient for residents to access tests.

By the winter, the hub should have diagnostic services available for cardiac physiology, alongside an increase in breast diagnostics and ultrasound.

Community diagnostic hubs at Coventry and Nuneaton are also among those expected to get investment, with funding of £7.7m in total being sought across Coventry and Warwickshire for the first year.

Stratford Hospital already has an MRI scanner, installed at a cost of £2m in 2018, but South Warwickshire Foundation Trust believes a second mobile machine is necessary, predicting demand will increase over the next four to five years.

The trust believes investment in the diagnostic hubs will future-proof the organisation.

Minutes from last month’s SWFT board meeting reveal that it expects the new fully-staffed MRI scanner to be up and running in October.

A spokesperson for the trust said: “Over the last few months the Coventry and Warwickshire integrated care system – including local hospitals and wider partners – has worked together to prepare a bid to secure additional funding to support community diagnostic hubs in Coventry, Warwickshire North and south Warwickshire.

“These diagnostic hubs are created to provide quicker, easier and more convenient access to tests.

“It will bring care closer to home for all of our communities, as well as relieving pressure on diagnostics to support people using our hospitals, through A&E and those that need to stay in a hospital bed.

“In south Warwickshire, there is already a community diagnostic hub in the new Stratford Hospital and the space available in the old Stratford Hospital will be utilised to enable a quick mobilisation of additional diagnostics in line with the national strategy.

“This will include cardiac physiology, increase in breast diagnostics and ultrasound. There will also be a mobile MRI scanner to help meet the growing demand in the south of Warwickshire.

“The teams have worked together across Coventry and Warwickshire to look at what the future demand is for diagnostics and to offer support to each other in areas of greatest need.

“Further work will now take place to develop a five-year forward view so that we can continue this work to identify the greatest needs in our population and develop the hubs.

“We are anticipating the funding for this first year imminently.”

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