NHS: The X-factor

THE X-ray department at Doddington Hospital has undertaken 3,716 examinations since April 2005. It is now possible for children over five years old to be X-rayed, and the opening times of the diagnostic unit were extended in 2005 to include Wednesdays. Do

THE X-ray department at Doddington Hospital has undertaken 3,716 examinations since April 2005. It is now possible for children over five years old to be X-rayed, and the opening times of the diagnostic unit were extended in 2005 to include Wednesdays.

Doddington is expecting to take delivery of new X-ray equipment in November 2006.

The hospital piloted a new echocardiography service in 2004, which has proved very successful, and has now been rolled out to the Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely, and North Cambs Hospital in Wisbech.

GPs are able to refer directly to the echo service, which produces images of the heart to help diagnose heart failure. Since the introduction of the service 819 patients have been scanned through the service and patient satisfaction surveys have identified that over 98 per cent of patients prefer to have their echo at the community hospital.


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The most common long-term health problems are musculo-skeletal - such as back pain. The PCT run musculo-skeletal physiotherapy services at Doddington saw about 6,000 attendances between April and September last year. Reducing waiting times for routine physio has been prioritised for investment in 2006/07.

The hospital recruited a specialist physiotherapist in early 2005 to lead the development of a new service at Doddington designed to assess and treat patients with more complex back and joint problems who would otherwise have to wait to see a consultant. The 'musculo-skeletal clinical assessment service' has seen 225 new patients now, and continues to develop with the help of consultant colleagues.

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Considerable funding into rehabilitation physiotherapy services in the summer of 2005, made it possible to appoint four full-time, senior physiotherapists to be based at Doddington Community Hospital.

The community physiotherapist visits patients in their own homes (including residential and nursing homes) for assessment, treatment and provision of walking aids. Patients seen at home may have just been discharged from hospital and require further rehabilitation. Physiotherapists work closely with occupational therapists and therapy assistants.

Following total hip and total knee replacements, physiotherapists and therapy assistants see patients at home, until they are strong enough to travel to Doddington Hospital to join the newly-developed lower limb group. Here patients have the opportunity to exercise, with others, at their own pace in a circuit style gym setting.

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