24/7 diagnostic service
A limited range of diagnostic services is currently provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as part of the Trust’s out of hours urgent care provision to its three acute sites.
In the future this will require expansion to enable a more comprehensive range of diagnostic tests to be available to all patients 24 hours a day and at weekends, to enable rapid diagnosis and treatment. This is particularly important, for example, for patients who have had a stroke and require a CT or MRI scan urgently to determine the right treatment.
Provision of these services depends on support around the clock from a team of consultants and other clinical support staff. This will be extremely difficult to achieve with resources spread thinly across three sites.
“Bishop Auckland has run an excellent stroke service since the last reorganisation with a highly committed multidisciplinary team. However with the recent emphasis on stroke with national guidelines and NICE recommendations the service will not be sustainable in isolation for the hyper-acute phase due to lack of support services, critical care and 24/7 access to other specialists.”
Professor Sir George Alberti, NCAT report - August 2008