GLOUCESTERSHIRE residents who need health tests and scans will be able to get them done at a new £15m city centre diagnostic centre.

The new facility at Quayside House in Gloucester opened last week and will offer more than 80,000 extra diagnostic appointments each year, allowing patients across the county to access potentially lifesaving checks more quickly, without having to go to hospital.

A wide range of diagnostic tests including X-Rays, MRI, CT, ultrasound, ECHO and DEXA scanning will be available when the centre is fully operational.

The centre has already been providing additional scans to patients from new ‘modular units’ which were installed towards the end of last year.

These buildings were constructed off-site in controlled conditions before being transported and assembled at Quayside.

They are providing around 400 CT and MRI scans, seven days a week, offering patients flexibility around appointment times as they are open 12 hours per day.

Professor Mark Pietroni, deputy CEO, director for safety and medical director at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which is leading the programme, said: “Seeing the units being craned onto the site in the city centre was exciting as it marked an important step in bringing additional diagnostic services together at Quayside House.

“The units were swiftly put to good use. We have been working with Cheltenham-based Cobalt Medical Charity, and together, have been able to significantly increase the number of MRI, and CT scans we can offer.

“We have worked really hard locally to reduce the number of people waiting for CT, MRI and non-obstetric ultrasound tests.

“Offering appointments 12 hours a day, seven days a week, means that we are making it easier and quicker for patients to get the tests and scans they need, helping them to get faster diagnoses.

“This is vital in diagnosing a host of conditions, including cancer, as early as possible, and giving patients the best possible chances of recovering.”

Signage around the centre has been put in place to help patients navigate the building and grounds and car parking spaces have been clearly marked out.

It is hoped that the new centre will help to attract and retain more health professionals within Gloucestershire and bring higher levels of job satisfaction.

It will also help the county’s two main hospitals by reducing the number of diagnostic appointments they provide, enabling busy hospital staff to focus on providing acute care.