Earlier this month we welcomed patients to the new Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) in Telford and we are already seeing that it is making a difference.

In the first four weeks, a total of 2,230 blood tests and 1,045 scans were carried out at the CDC, which is incredible.

The new centre at Hollinswood House in Telford means that patients who need non-urgent diagnostic tests or blood tests no longer need to go to hospital and can be seen at the facility.

It means that we are able to provide more patients with the tests and scans they need more quickly in a community setting and away from our acute hospital sites. It will also help to reduce waiting times for non-urgent tests.

Feedback from patients about the state-of-the-art facilities is positive, which is fantastic news as we are always striving to improve care for our patients.

My colleagues provide the services at the centre, which is being opened in three phases. The ground floor was the first area to open, providing blood tests and scans. This month, an MRI scanner will arrive and cardio-respiratory tests and tele-dermoscopy will be introduced in January.

In addition to the CDC, renal dialysis services will move to Hollinswood House from the Princess Royal Hospital later this year. It will create a better and more spacious environment for our lower risk dialysis patients to receive treatment.

Thank you to all my colleagues at the Trust and across the healthcare system, and our patients and the public, who have been involved in shaping this development – it is wonderful to see those plans and ideas come to fruition.

This week, I would also like to share the incredible story of one of our inspirational patients who has cycled 340 miles from Pisa to Rome to raise money for Myeloma UK.

Jo Coombes was diagnosed with an incurable blood cancer three years ago after experiencing a sharp pain whilst riding her bike and attending the Emergency Department.

She has been receiving care from the team at the Haematology Unit at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, which she is full of praise for.

The team says Jo has shown unbelievable strength and determination throughout her care and treatment.

She got back on her bike in September 2022 and cycled from London to Paris and then a year later she took on her toughest cycling challenge yet, riding 340 miles from Pisa to Rome in Italy.

Together with 35 others, Jo completed the formidable distance – the equivalent of climbing mount Everest – in four days. The group has raised £98,000 for Myeloma UK and have their sights set on reaching £100,000.

Myeloma is a type of blood cancer arising from plasma cells that affects approximately 5,700 people each year in the UK.

Well done Jo, we are full of admiration for you. If you would like to learn more about Jo’s fundraising efforts and to donate to Myeloma UK, please visit her JustGiving page.