11 July 2017
A 230ft high crane has now removed an MRI scanner from Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) – to pave the way for a state-of-the-art replacement to be installed later in the summer.
The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) is replacing its two existing MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanners, one of which is at PRH with the other at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH), as part of a £1.7million investment during 2017/18.
A new MRI scanner is also due to be installed at RSH by the end of March 2018 thanks to generous funding by the League of Friends of the RSH, increasing the number of MRI scanners at the Trust to three, which will allow more patients to be seen.
Glen Whitehouse, Radiology Centre Manager at SaTH, said: “This is a fantastic investment in our imaging equipment.
“Our two existing scanners are in need of replacing and it’s great that these will soon be replaced, as the new scanners will provide more advanced and higher quality images. It’s also excellent news for our patients that a third scanner will be installed by the end of the year, as this will increase our capacity, allowing us to see more patients and reduce waiting lists.”
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body. An MRI scan can be used to examine almost any part of the body. The results of an MRI scan can be used to help diagnose conditions, plan treatments and assess how effective previous treatment has been.
The existing scanner at PRH was removed on Sunday 9 July. Despite the size of the crane needed to remove the scanner, there was minimal impact across the site during the weekend as the scanner was removed.
The scanner was lifted from a courtyard over part of the hospital to a lorry parked in the main public car park which then took it away. In order to maximise patient safety, a planned move of a very small number of patients from one of the clinical wards was conducted on the day. Affected families were be informed of this temporary move as part of the planning process.
Around 100 parking spaces in the main public car park at PRH were also temporarily unavailable, however car parking attendants were on hand to provide advice and direct people to alternative parking facilities across the site.
Ahead of the move two mobile MRI scanners have been installed – one at RSH and one at PRH. The RSH one has been in place for a number of weeks to help reduce waiting times from referral to having an MRI scan from six weeks to one week. The national target is six weeks.
The mobile unit at PRH is also being used to help keep waiting times down ahead of the move and will then be used to carry out a number of the scans whilst work takes place to prepare the X-ray unit for the installation of the new scanner on a date to be confirmed in late August.
Children who need MRI scans and patients needing complex scans will have these on the existing static scanner at RSH from 9 July until the new scanner is installed.
Radiology teams aim to see all patients within the six-week target during this period.
The first scan using the new MRI scanner will take place in early September.
RSH’s replacement scanner will be installed later in the year and be in use by Christmas 2017. The new RSH scanner, which will mean the Trust will have three MRI scanners, will be in use in spring 2018.
Glen added: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused whilst the scanner is installed.
“This is a great investment in imaging equipment at both our hospitals this year and will enhance our service for our patients in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and mid Wales.”