Spotlight

Update on the diagnostic centre in Taunton (6 June)

Peter Lewis, Chief Executive for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We are looking to maintain the diagnostic centre in Taunton for our patients with minimal disruption. We will contact patients directly to reschedule their scans if this is necessary as we look to implement alternative arrangements.

“The centre has made a real difference to our ability to scan patients quickly. Since it opened at the end of September last year, the percentage of NHS patients in Somerset who are waiting longer than the national standard for a diagnostic test has reduced considerably.

“When the centre opened, 7,375 of our patients were waiting for a diagnostic test and 45.8% of them were waiting longer than the national 6-week standard. Our latest figures show that 7,574 patients are waiting for a diagnostic test and 28.3% of them are waiting longer than the 6-week standard.

“The centre’s location away from our busy hospital is convenient for patients and prevents disruptions to scanning services which can arise at a busy acute hospital. Feedback from patients, families and our trust colleagues (who work at the centre with Rutherford colleagues) is very positive."

Background

  • We are aware of that Rutherford Health Ltd has resolved to take steps to wind-up the company and its subsidiaries and to appoint the official receiver as liquidator. Rutherford Health owns the Rutherford Diagnostic Centre Taunton which provides a valuable service for NHS patients in Somerset.
  • We have been aware of Rutherford Health’s financial difficulties, which relate to their cancer treatment centres, and have had ongoing discussions with a number of parties to find a resolution for the diagnostic centre in Taunton.

The agreement between Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and Rutherford Diagnostics

The agreement between Rutherford Diagnostics (Rutherford Health’s diagnostics subsidiary) and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust was reached in July 2020. It is a five year agreement with the option to extend to ten years for Rutherford Diagnostics to provide diagnostic services for Somerset patients from a community diagnostic centre in Taunton.

The Rutherford Diagnostics Centre Somerset

The Rutherford Diagnostics Centre Somerset (run by Rutherford Diagnostics) provides Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Ultrasound, X-Ray and other relevant diagnostic services, facilitated by Rutherford Health’s long-term technology partner Philips.