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New CT scanner for Hexham as radiology service expands

Wednesday, 09 July, 2014
New CT scanner for Hexham as radiology service expands

People in Hexham will soon benefit from a new state-of-the-art CT scanner at Hexham General Hospital thanks to a substantial investment from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Work will begin next week to install the new CT scanner, which is one of the most advanced pieces of equipment available anywhere in the world and will provide the fastest and highest resolution imaging for any patients who need a CT scan.

The new scanner, worth over half a million pounds, is part of Northumbria Healthcare’s commitment to developing local healthcare services.  It will help medics at the hospital to quickly diagnose a range of conditions and be operational in just six weeks’ time.

The investment comes as Northumbria Healthcare continues to expand its radiology service with recruitment underway to attract further consultant radiologists and radiographers to work across its main hospital sites in Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck – as well as the new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital from 2015.

Dr Margaret Wilkinson, consultant radiologist who works at Hexham General Hospital, said:  “It is really fantastic news that we are getting such an advanced piece of scanning equipment right here in Hexham.

“The technology used in the new scanner will provide us with a much more accurate picture of what is going on inside the body which ultimately means we can diagnose and treat our patients sooner.

“We are really looking forward to the new CT scanner being installed which will give both our patients, and our staff, access to some of the very best diagnostic equipment in the world.”

Guy Opperman, local MP for Hexham commented: “The new CT scanner is very positive news for Hexham and I am very pleased to see such investment going into our local hospital from Northumbria Healthcare.

“Technology changes very quickly, especially in health, and it is because of Northumbria’s very strong financial performance that it is able to reinvest our public money to provide the very latest diagnostic equipment in Hexham.  I am sure this news will be welcomed by the local community.”

Providing state-of-the-art facilities, Northumbria Healthcare’s radiology service has benefited from substantial capital investment in recent years.  The 200-strong team cares for hundreds of thousands of patients every single year across Northumberland and North Tyneside.

Arrangements have been put in place to ensure that any outpatients requiring a planned CT scan whilst work is taking place in Hexham can have their appointments at Wansbeck General Hospital where an additional CT scanner will be operational.

Any inpatients at Hexham General Hospital requiring a CT scan during the installation works will be transferred to Wansbeck General Hospital by ambulance for their scan, before returning to Hexham for their ongoing care.

Any emergency patients who may need a CT scan will be taken by ambulance to the nearest alternative A&E during this interim period.  Any walk-in patients who self-present at A&E in Hexham and need a CT scan will be transferred to Wansbeck General Hospital.

Dr Wilkinson from Northumbria Healthcare added:  “We appreciate there may be some slight disruption to our usual services as we install the new scanner andI would like to thank patients for their understanding and cooperation during this time.”

The new CT scanner is expected to open in Hexham at the end of November.