Independent review of diagnostics services published

12 Mar 2021

'Diagnostics: Recovery and Renewal: Report of the Independent Review of Diagnostic Services for NHS England' was published in October last year. However, it may well have run under the radar for many of us in amongst the ongoing challenges wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

The report summarises the challenges already facing diagnostic services, including rapidly rising demand, access to appropriate diagnostic tools and equipment, and an ever increasing gap between the 6 week diagnosis goal and the reality of that time frame in practice.

The report states, ' Without investment and reform in equipment, facilities and workforce, existing waiting time standards were very unlikely to be regained.' It also highlights that COVID-19 has exacerbated the challenges through slowed throughput owing to the deep cleaning of equipment now needed, and the increasing backlog of patients.

Core to the report are a series of recommendations presented across a range of overarching themes which hold relevance across healthcare:

  • New service delivery models

  • Equipment and facilities

  • Workforce

  • Digitisation and connectivity

  • Delivering the change

'Implementation of the recommendations in this report has the potential to transform pathways to diagnosis. This will benefit wider aspects of service provision (including outpatients, same day emergency care, and primary and community care) and should help reduce inpatient lengths of stay, and also support access, including to more vulnerable groups, through more patient-centred local provision.'

p9, 'Diagnostics: Recovery and Renewal: Report of the Independent Review of Diagnostic Services for NHS England' (Oct 2020)

The full report is available to read here.

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