New Paddington diagnostic centre to offer earlier access to vital health tests for people in Liverpool

People in Liverpool are set to benefit from earlier access to vital tests for a wide range of health conditions after NHS leaders agreed a deal for a new community diagnostic centre (CDC) in Paddington Village.

In a landmark agreement, the NHS has acquired the formerly privately-run Rutherford Cancer Centre North West from Equitix, which owned it. The state-of-the-art facility will now be transformed into a new NHS diagnostics centre for people from across Liverpool. The deal is fantastic news for the city, converting the former Rutherford Health building into a first-class NHS facility.

The new community diagnostic centre will be owned and operated by The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of the NHS in Cheshire and Merseyside. It is expected to open by the summer.

Community diagnostic centres provide the NHS with additional capacity to carry out vital tests and scans in locations away from the pressures of a busy acute hospital providing emergency care.

The new Paddington Village CDC will offer tests to people referred by their GP or other health professionals to check for a wide range of conditions including musculoskeletal problems, cancer, cardiac issues and gastrointestinal disease.

It will help them get a confirmed diagnosis so they can get the treatment they need or the all-clear, putting their minds at rest. This is particularly important where someone has symptoms that could be cancer.

Initially, the CDC will offer CT, MR and ultrasound scans as well as blood tests (phlebotomy). Future phases will see it expand to provide more tests, further boosting NHS diagnostic capacity in response to local demand.

Cheshire and Merseyside has been at the vanguard of rolling out community diagnostic centres (CDCs) as part of a national NHS England programme supported by government funding. It launched the first CDC nationally in St Helens and there are now six CDCs in our region (Ellesmere Port, Liverpool, Northwich, Southport, St Helens and Wirral), with a further three – including this one – due to open in the next six months. 

Dr Liz Bishop, Chief Executive of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust and Senior Responsible Officer for Diagnostics in Cheshire and Merseyside, said: 

“People in Liverpool are more likely to experience ill health than the national average so it’s particularly important that they can get the tests they need when symptoms develop.

“This approval for a new community diagnostic centre in Paddington Village is fantastic news for the city and will significantly enhance CT, MRI and ultrasound capacity for the NHS in Liverpool, helping people get diagnosed and access any treatment they need as soon as possible.”

NHS England’s medical director for transformation and secondary care, Dr Vin Diwakar, said:

“I’m delighted this new community diagnostic centre will be opening in Liverpool, adding to the six existing centres across Cheshire and Merseyside and making it more convenient than ever for local patients to get their tests and checks in convenient, dedicated diagnostic locations.

“These centres are vital to ensure patients receive quicker diagnoses and quicker treatment, with a record number of tests and checks delivered in January helping to improve outcomes for a range of health conditions including cancer and helping us deliver on the next stage of our elective recovery plan to reduce the longest waits for care.”

Siôn Jones, Chief Operating Officer, Equitix, said:

“We are delighted to be able to help support the provision of this state-of-the-art centre at Paddington Village, which will provide the people of Liverpool with additional capacity to carry out vital tests and treatments in a comfortable environment.”

The new Paddington Village CDC will be the second such venture for The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre has opened. In 2021, it opened one of the nation’s first community diagnostics centres – Clatterbridge Diagnostics in Wirral – in partnership with Wirral University Teaching Hospital. Paddington Village CDC will be a spoke of the Clatterbridge Diagnostics CDC in Wirral.