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Test clinics for cancer, heart and lung disease could ease burden of pandemic

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More than 90 community diagnostic centres opened in locations such as football stadiums and shopping centres. They offer MRI and CT scans, as well as other checks, to ease the burden on hospitals. Boris Johnson said: “We pledged to support the NHS to recover, to be able to provide this much-needed care to our constituents and the people we love, and we provided the funding to do so.

“Reaching one million checks and tests is a pivotal milestone in the biggest catch-up programme in NHS history.”

The news comes at the start of the Government’s health week, which will focus on efforts to clear Covid backlogs.

A record 1.6 million people are waiting for key diagnostic tests, according to NHS data. Describing a new centre in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, former national cancer director Prof Sir Mike Richards said: “The community hospital never had diagnostics but now it has a mobile CT and a mobile MRI scanner and blood tests.”

Prof Charles Swanton, of Cancer Research UK, inset, said: “We know that any delays in diagnosis in cancer can risk reduction in survival outcomes.”

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