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South Wales health board unveils multi-million pound ‘Diagnostics Hub’ to expand radiology capacity across the region

A new ‘Diagnostics Hub’ has been opened at one of South Wales’s largest hospitals as part of its vision to expand high quality imaging capacity covering the region.

The Hub, which will be officially opened at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant today (February 8th) by Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, will comprise two CT scanners and two MRI scanners, enabling Cwm Taf University Health Board to further increase the diagnostic capacity for its own population and the surrounding region.

The Hub includes a new purpose-built CT suite and a new recovery room at Royal Glamorgan Hospital, focused on optimising patient flow and providing the best possible patient experience.

The development is expected to deliver on average, an additional 7,232 MRI scans and 6,599 CT scans per year and will offer a centre of excellence for training and professional development.

During the last five years, the Royal Glamorgan hospital has also replaced 12 ultrasound machines, gamma camera, 4 mobile image intensifiers, a fluoroscopic interventional suite, a fluoroscopic cardiac suite and a general fluoroscopy unit.

The Hub is part of the wider health board agenda to improve waiting times and speed up diagnosis of serious illnesses, especially cancer, where mortality rates in Cwm Taf are the highest in Wales. Following a visit to Denmark, the health board is currently one of two sites in South Wales piloting a Rapid Cancer Diagnostic clinic at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in partnership with the Welsh Cancer Network where patients with vague symptoms of cancer will be directly referred by their GP for a diagnosis within days rather than weeks. Two clinic rooms are co-located which allows such new ways of working to be explored.

Ruth Treharne, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Planning and Performance at Cwm Taf University Health Board said: “The Diagnostics Hub’ is a key part of Cwm Taf University Health Board’s clinical services strategy and I am absolutely delighted to see it unveiled today.

“Royal Glamorgan Hospital is fast making a name for itself for developing a significant role in diagnostics and ambulatory care, supporting the wider network of hospitals in the region. As well as providing improved diagnostic facilities and scanning for our own patients in Cwm Taf, the Hub will become a centre of excellence for South Wales.

“As well as more MRI and CT scanners our clinicians are keen to take advantage of technological advances in diagnostics and this is a really exciting development for Cwm Taf University Health Board as well as our local communities. We are currently recruiting into the Hub and would welcome applications or expressions of interest from radiologists and radiographers in the UK or overseas to join the team.”

Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services said:

I’m very pleased to be unveiling this new state of the art Diagnostic Hub at Royal Glamorgan Hospital. Our investment of nearly £6m means that this hospital will now play a significant role in diagnostics, supporting the wider network of hospitals within the South Wales area.

“The Hub is a great example of investment in action and will not only benefit the people within Cwm Taf but across the whole of South Wales.

“I’m committed to the development of a strong and sound base for imaging services across Wales, and I look forward to seeing the benefits that this facility will provide this community and the region as a whole.”