The government has announced that it will provide the NHS with £248 million in funding over the coming year to invest in technology to provide increased diagnostic tests, scans and checks. The funding will aim to help patients receive quicker diagnoses for health conditions and earlier treatment, while reducing waiting times and the NHS's administrative burden.
The investment will help to digitise diagnostics services throughout the NHS, ensuring that tests, results and images can be shared more quickly across the different computer systems at hospitals, labs and surgeries.
With new technology, imaging specialists will be able to review high-resolution images remotely, 24 hours a day, outside of an imaging lab setting. New tech will also assist clinicians and GPs in selecting the most suitable scan for patients, according to their symptoms and medical history.
NHS Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis said: “The NHS is facing a winter like no other with rising cases of COVID and flu as well as record demand for emergency services, all while we continue to deliver the biggest vaccination programme in health service history, including rolling out booster jabs for the most vulnerable.”
“However, NHS staff are making efficient use of additional funding and following the recent rollout of new diagnostic centres, the number of patients waiting for a diagnostic test is falling for the first time in a year, meaning more people are getting the checks they need and if required, are able to begin treatment sooner.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid added: “Today’s multi-million-pound investment will play a big role in levelling up diagnostics services across the country so patients can get faster results and healthcare professionals can get their job done more easily, reducing unnecessary administrative burden, and making every taxpayer’s pound count.”
“Getting a faster diagnosis for a health condition is the first step to getting more people the treatment they need and earlier on, and our funding will help ensure our NHS has access to the latest digital technology to drive up efficiency.”