DoH chooses GP-led health centres for diagnostics expansion

A 'massive expansion' of diagnostic equipment in primary care will be concentrated into GP-led health centres and new APMS clinics, health secretary Andy Burnham has suggested.

Improved access needed to tests like ultrasound (Photograph: SPL)
Improved access needed to tests like ultrasound (Photograph: SPL)

Speaking at a King's Fund debate in London on Wednesday, Mr Burnham reinforced Labour's pledge that patients with suspected cancer will receive test results within a week.

‘This will be delivered by a major expansion of diagnostics and testing capability in primary care... which is only possible because Labour has created an entirely new infrastructure at local level; with 256 purpose-built health centres across the country.

‘Years ago in my constituency of Leigh, it would not be possible for this to happen, with GPs practicing out of terraced houses.'

Improved access to tests like ultrasound and flexible sigmoidoscopy would ‘empower' GPs, and help diagnose other illness where cancer is ruled out, said Mr Burnham.

The health secretary defended the use of targets and processes in the NHS, saying that they had become ‘operational standards', and would soon become patient rights.

‘There must be national standards that every single patient has the right to expect when they arrive at the door of the national health service,' he said.

Mr Burnham said Conservative plans to reduce the national deficit quickly and reduce the schoool's budget would result in 'devastating cuts for the partners of the NHS'.

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