A new £4.5 million Community Diagnostic Centre is set to be opened in Spring 2022 near Oldham that will help patients in the surrounding area get earlier diagnostic testing.

A collaboration between the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care, Oldham Council and NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group has resulted in the team receiving part of the £350 million national investment to create 40 new testing centres across England.

The new centres will act as one-stop-shops for checks, scans and tests and will provide 2.8 million scans across England in the first year of operation, with an estimated 30,000 patients to be seen at the Oldham facility.

Barney Schofield, Director of Planning and Delivery for Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, which runs hospital and community services in Oldham as well as Bury, Rochdale and Salford, said: "Our local teams have already made great progress in ramping scans and tests back up to pre-pandemic levels, and this new investment will help us go even further – while also providing a more convenient option for patients."

Mr Schofield also said the testing centre will have some of the most advanced diagnostic technology available to the NHS and will help to make testing more convenient for patients by reducing waiting lists.

The centre will be the first of its kind in the area to provide PET-CT tests, with patients previously having to travel to either South Manchester or Wigan for such tests. Some other benefits delivered to patients will include earlier diagnosis of both cancer and cardio-respiratory disease and patients being able to have multiple tests in the same place on the same day.

Chris Brookes, Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust Interim Chief Executive, said: "The roll-out of the community diagnostic centre in Oldham will help us to spot problems sooner, when they are easier to treat."

The preferred site is at Salmon Fields in Royton, Oldham, subject to an application, which will be made imminently with approval expected over the next two months.

READ MORE: Royal Oldham Hospital to open community diagnostic centre