Work has started to refurbish the X-ray Department at Furness General Hospital (FGH).
The first phase of work – due to be complete by December 2018 – has included the creation of a new X-ray room, which is a state of the art digital radiography suite. This room will be used primarily for outpatient and GP patients and should reduce waiting times.
This will then be followed by the installation of a new SPECT-CT suite with a virtual ceiling to improve patient experience. The SPECT-CT equipment will replace the existing gamma camera and has the addition of an integral CT scanner. This new equipment uses functional nuclear medicine images fused with the anatomical detail of a CT scan and is the first scanner of this type in the Trust.
The second phase of work will include a refurbishment of the department such as waiting areas, changing cubicles for patients, new flooring, ceilings, lighting, decoration and furniture.
Joanne Park, Acting Deputy Head of Department, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), said: “The new equipment will mean it is easier for staff to use and the quality of images the newer machines are producing will aid accuracy and a quicker diagnosis. This is a significant investment from the Trust and shows the commitment to ensuring our patients have access to the latest imaging techniques.
“The virtual ceiling is a great feature that really will improve patient experience. Instead of staring at a blank ceiling they will have a calming view of a woodland which will help to ease any anxiety.”
The department saw 86,000 patients attend FGH last year who needed radiological examinations.
The Trust’s outpatient and emergency departments can refer patients to the X-ray department and local GPs have open access Monday to Friday, meaning they can send patients without an appointment.
Foluke Ajayi, Chief Operating Officer, UHMBT, said: “This is an exciting investment for the Trust. Patient care and experience are paramount to the Trust and we really feel the new facilities will help to bring our X-ray Department at FGH into the 21st century.”