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UCLPartners to lead Learning Health System approach for Community Diagnostic Centres across London

17 November 2021
UCLPartners will support the implementation of a new service which will help patients receive life-saving checks close to their home.

As part of the NHS Insights Prioritisation Programme, UCLPartners is set to co-lead the implementation of a Learning Health System (LHS) approach for Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) in London.

This programme will be delivered alongside Health Innovation Network (HIN), Imperial College Health Partners (ICHP) and NIHR ARC North Thames.

CDCs are a key component of NHS plans to improve the delivery of several diagnostic services, allowing patients to receive life-saving checks close to their homes. Following recommendations from a review conducted by Professor Sir Mike Richards, plans to create CDCs, away from hospitals, have been put in motion across the country – an approach deemed to be quicker and safer for patients.

LHSs support organisations to rapidly make decisions backed by front-line insights, data and evidence to improve how services are delivered, monitor the impact and quickly adjust the approach as necessary.

Through this work, we will establish a learning network for staff working across the health system to gather insights into what is working well in CDCs and what could be improved. The network will provide a space to share ideas and learning, ensuring these centres evolve to work as effectively as possible and meet patient’s needs and preferences.

The work will also involve collaboration with academic leaders at the Clinical Operational Research Unit, UCL and the Policy Research Unit, Queen Mary University of London to model patient pathways for colorectal and ovarian cancer. Through this modelling, the team will be able to better understand the consequences of increasing capacity on other services.

This follows on from work UCLPartners has already undertaken with NHS England London to inform the establishment of Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) in the capital, gathering insights from those involved in the delivery of community based diagnostic facilities and synthesising learning into a summary report to inform development.

Louise Dark, Programme Director – Diagnostics, NHS England and NHS Improvement (London Region) said: ”As we implement CDCs in London to improve access to potentially life-saving tests, checks and scans for patients, the Learning Health System approach will enable us to rapidly understand what is working well and act on what can be improved. We look forward to working with UCLPartners, Health Innovation Network, Imperial College Health Partners and NIHR ARC North Thames to ensure that the full potential of CDCs is achieved to improve outcomes for patients across London.”

Dr Jenny Shand, Director of Strategy and Partnerships at UCLPartners, and programme lead said: “We are delighted to be supporting the regional team to implement an LHS approach for Community Diagnostic Centres in partnership with our colleagues at HIN and ICHP. Rapidly gathering and acting on insights will ensure the programme delivers maximal benefit to patients and the wider system of care, alongside understanding impacts on health inequalities and unintended consequences on other parts of the pathway.”

Read more about UCLPartners work on Learning Health Systems here

Community Diagnostic Centre – Innovation Exchange event

The Community Diagnostic Centres – Innovation Exchange event on 1 December will give clinicians, pathway experts, system leaders and innovators an opportunity to engage and discuss the innovative solutions that can support the set-up of the CDCs. Find out more about the Innovation Exchange Event