February 14, 2024

Barnsley’s NHS diagnostic hub, the first of its kind in the UK, has expanded its footprint and is now offering even more services in yet another boost to the town centre. 

Not only is the NHS hub helping to improve healthcare in Barnsley, but its central location, set inside The Glass Works alongside major retail brands, independent stores, cafés, and restaurants, encourages footfall from the diagnostic hub right back into the town centre.

Staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of hospital staff, the CDC was proposed as a new service model to support the required expansion of diagnostic services to meet future demand.

The expansion comes after a hugely successful first year, including a Healthcare Estates and Facilities Management Award for ‘Project of the Year’.

Phase One of the hub opened in The Glass Works in April 2022. It provides many of Barnsley Hospital’s outpatient diagnostic appointments on a pre-arranged basis and is conveniently located in the heart of Barnsley town centre, with close links to the main public transport interchange and other amenities.

The centre provides vital services such as breast screening, bone density screening, blood tests, ultrasounds, and X-Rays, and Phase Two has added additional services including bladder screening, CT scanning, and retinal eye screening.

Since opening, wait times have significantly reduced. For instance, waiting times for bone density screenings decreased from six weeks in March 2022 to just one week by October 2022.

Bob Kirkton, Chief of Delivery and Deputy CEO at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The CDC is proving to be a huge success all round, from increased uptake rates for Breast Screening – from 50% in April 2022 to 72% in October 2022 – to reduced ‘did not attend’ figures and increased availability of appointments. The hub is helping services run on time with patients being seen before or at their appointment time, with waiting practically cut altogether.”

Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of NHS England, visited the hub in October. She said: “It was amazing to visit Barnsley and see firsthand the huge difference that the Community Diagnostic Centre is having on the lives of local people. By bringing health checks to the high street, we are ensuring services are as convenient as possible for patients as well as successfully driving down waiting times.”

Councillor Robin Franklin, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “We’re excited to announce that the second phase of the diagnostic centre at The Glass Works is now complete. Health Services like this are bringing life and vibrancy back to town and city centres up and down the Country, and we are delighted to be at the vanguard of this change in Barnsley, allowing us to use this space in a more modern and flexible way better meeting the needs of our residents.

“This mixed-use approach is increasing footfall around the town, which is up 23% for 2023 compared to 2022. This is encouraging more retailers to open and more businesses to start up here in Barnsley town centre such as Flannels, The Botanist, Cineworld, and TGI Fridays, along with a number of independent bars, eateries, and several community-based services.”