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Sustainability and Seven Day Services Taskforce Interim Report

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Diagnostics & investigations

Diagnostic services underpin an estimated 80% of all models of care irrespective of setting and clinical pathway[13]. Delivering sustainable services across seven days will require successful diagnostic services to be at the centre of service transformation.

Our initial baseline work has focused on diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology services. There has been a notable expansion in demand for such services in recent years. For example, in 2013/14 NHSScotland performed over 200,000 MRI, 450,000 CT and 550,000 Ultrasound examinations[14]; these numbers have increased by 30%, 25% and 20% respectively since 2010/11[15].

Interventional radiology also has an important and increasing role in managing critically ill patients. We are working with the Scottish Clinical Imaging Network to review the current provision of services in out of hours periods, building on previous research that suggested that out of hours provision was variable[16]. In the next phase of work we will consider this issue in more detail.

We are also aware of new models that are being developed to provide sustainable diagnostic imaging services, such as the out of hours diagnostic imaging model being implemented in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the improvement programme to underpin the roll out of radiography plain film reporting across Scotland. We are keen to explore these further with Boards.

We will also link to work being taken forward by the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service to review the blood banks held in laboratories across the NHS in Scotland and identify opportunities to support the sustainability of the service. This work will be supported by the Healthcare Science National Delivery Plan, due for publication in spring 2015.

Our next phase of work will consider the other Healthcare Science services, that contribute to the delivery sustainable services across seven days.