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New CT scanner unveiled at Hexham hospital

Thursday, 03 July, 2014
New CT scanner unveiled at Hexham hospital

Guy Opperman MP today officially opened the new state-of-the-art CT scanner at Hexham General Hospital.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has invested more than £500,000 in the new scanner which is one of the most advanced pieces of diagnostic equipment available and is the first of its kind to be installed in the trust.

Due to its fast resolution imaging, the scanner is able to scan twice as many patients in a given timeframe, meaning more patients will be able to have their appointment much earlier.

The new scanner, which can be used for any part of the body, also provides the highest quality images ensuring clinicians at the hospital are able to quickly diagnose a range of conditions.

At Hexham General Hospital, it is used to scan emergency patients and those who are staying on a ward, as well as people referred by their GP.

The investment forms a key part of the trust’s commitment to develop services at its general hospital sites which will become centres of excellence for diagnostics, outpatients and planned procedures when the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital opens in 2015.

The installation of the scanner also comes as Northumbria Healthcare continues to expand its radiology service with recruitment underway for further consultant radiologists and radiographers to work across its main hospital sites.

It comes a month after a new MRI scanner was unveiled at the trust’s North Tyneside General Hospital – also the first of its kind in the region’s NHS.

Dr Rahul Dharmadhikari, consultant radiologist and trust-wide clinical lead, said: “It’s great that Hexham General Hospital is the first hospital in Northumbria Healthcare to have this type of CT scanner which uses the latest diagnostic technology available.

“Its increased speed means that we’re able to scan so many more patients – twice as many outpatients in a day than we did previously – ensuring people have their appointments sooner.

“The high quality images the scanner produces gives us a much more accurate picture of a part of the body and ultimately means that we can diagnose our patients quicker and start any treatment they may need sooner.

“It’s great to hear about the benefits the scanner has already brought to patients and we look forward to scanning many more.”

Guy Opperman, MP for Hexham, said: “To have such an advanced piece of equipment in Hexham General Hospital is fantastic news for people living in this part of Northumberland and I am delighted to see such investment in local health services by Northumbria Healthcare.

“It is excellent that local people are able to have their scans here in Hexham, without having to travel out of the area, and be able to have their appointments sooner.”

Pauline Gilroy from St John Lee, near Hexham, is one of the patients who has benefitted from the speed of the new scanner.

Pauline had a head scan at Hexham General Hospital less than a week after being referred by her GP.

The grandmother of eight had gone to her GP in Haydon Bridge after suffering from dizziness.

She said: “I’d never had a CT scan before however it was so quick and easy – it was over before I’d even realised it had started.

“I was really impressed that I had my appointment so quickly and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful and friendly.”