NHS invests £3.8m in scanners for new hospital

The new MRI scanner being installed at the new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital.
The new MRI scanner being installed at the new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital.

State-of-the-art scanning equipment, which is the best available in the NHS, has been installed in the new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, ahead of its opening next month.

Ultra-modern diagnostics facilities have been put in place at the Cramlington site, making the latest technology available to patients across Northumberland and North Tyneside.

The facilities, which include an MRI scanner, two CT scanners, four digital X-ray systems and three digital mobile X-ray machines are some of the most advanced in the world and represent an investment of £3.8million. They produce the highest quality of images, ensuring clinicians at the hospital will be able to quickly diagnose the condition of a patient who has been seriously ill or injured.

The diagnostic equipment at the new Northumbria hospital is located close to the ‘emergency department hub’ which will have emergency care consultants present 24/7. This will ensure speedy test results and allow specialists to start treatment earlier, improving outcomes and recovery.

In addition, the equipment has features which improve patients’ experiences of receiving tests. The MRI scanner has a much wider area for patients to lie down, helping to reduce the feeling of claustrophobia that can often come with a scan and make the procedure much less daunting.

The technology is a key part of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s new model of emergency care which will help save more lives and improve clinical outcomes for more patients across Northumberland and North Tyneside.

Dr Rahul Dharmadhikari, consultant radiologist and trust-wide clinical lead at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “Our new hospital is at the forefront of emergency medicine in the NHS and it was extremely important for us to have the best diagnostic facilities for patients which use the latest technology.

“When a patient is seriously ill or injured, it is vital for us to have equipment which will give us the highest quality images and a much more accurate picture of what is going on inside the body. This means we will be able to diagnose our patients quicker and work with specialists at the new hospital to start treatment much sooner than we can currently.

“We fully understand that having a test can be daunting for patients, particularly in an emergency situation, and we are always looking for ways to improve our patients’ experiences of having tests. Our new MRI scanner, with its much larger area, will reduce feelings of anxiety and claustrophobia and patients using our new CT scanners also receive a much lower dose of radiation thanks to the new technology we’ve invested in.”