New Westmorland General scanner will enable better access for patients

New Westmorland General scanner will enable better access for patients
Westmorland General Hospital scanner (www.SimonCallaghanPhotography.com)

Westmorland General Hospital scanner (www.SimonCallaghanPhotography.com)

Radiology Services at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) have collaborated with Alliance Medical Limited to expand their services by introducing a new Modular Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MR) scanner at Westmorland General Hospital (WGH).

Work will start from 13 February 2017 and the unit is expected to be operational from 20 March 2017.

Alliance Medical have provided mobile MR services to the Trust sites for a number of years and this recent agreement offers a more permanent, cost effective, sustainable and flexible service to meet the needs of our patients.

Debbie Crawford, Imaging Services Manager, UHMBT, said: “Due to the nature of the geographical areas served by UHMBT this service implementation will enable better access to a much needed service for all patients served by our Trust to increase patient choice and flexibility with appointments for local patients.

“Over the last two years, despite the demands on capital funding the Trust has provided significant investment in replacement of both MR scanners at Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) and Furness General Hospital (FGH).”

The new facility at WGH will be funded via revenue streams and host state-of-the-art MR Equipment which matches the MR scanners currently in place at (FGH) and Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) and so offers the highest standard of imaging and diagnostic capability, to ensure clinical standardisation across all sites.

Greater accessibility is facilitated as the service will run seven days a week, from 8am-8pm, which will allow patients more choice in selecting appointments. The modular unit will stand on the existing MR pad outside the Outpatient Department and in contrast to the mobile unit the new facility will provide wheelchair access.

Service Performance will be improved as additional capacity will enable more flexibility in appointment booking and enable diagnostic and two week wait cancer targets to be met and sustained. The extra sessions will alleviate pressure on staff and sessions at the two acute sites, FGH and RLI, which in turn will release much needed capacity for inpatients, and allow for further in house staff training and research opportunities.

Mark Chapman, Managing Director of Alliance Medical, said: “Alliance Medical is very pleased to be working with the Trust to provide patients with access to this state-of-the-art technology and facility creating a positive patient experience.”

Initially the modular unit will be staffed by two Alliance Medical Radiographers, in the same way that the mobile services have operated. However as the modular facility is a longer term commitment, for the first time at WGH there will be opportunities for Trust Radiographers to work and train alongside an Alliance Radiographer.

David Walker, Medical Director, UHMBT, said: “This is a fantastic investment which will provide better access to this service for patients and will help to alleviate pressures at our acute sites.”