Hexham General Hospital in Northumberland, UK, has unveiled a new state-of-the-art CT scanner.
Hexham Member of Parliament (MP) Guy Opperman officially opened the new CT scanner on 28 February 2014.
Installed at a cost of more than £500,000, the new CT scanner is said to be the first of its kind to be installed by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which also runs North Tyneside and Wansbeck general hospitals.
The investment is part of the trust’s development of 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.
With its fast resolution imaging, the equipment can scan twice as many patients in a given timeframe and will enable physicians to quickly diagnose a range of conditions.
At Hexham General Hospital, the equipment will be used to scan emergency patients and those who are staying on a ward, as well as people referred by their general physicians (GPs).
Consultant radiologist and trust-wide clinical lead Dr Rahul Dharmadhikari said that Hexham General Hospital is the first in Northumbria Healthcare to have this type of CT scanner, which uses the latest diagnostic technology.
"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," Dr Dharmadhikari added.
"It’s great to hear about the benefits the scanner has already brought to patients and we look forward to scanning many more."
Recently, 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.
Mr Opperman said that the installation of the scanner is fantastic news for people living in the region, and he is 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," Opperman added.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust encompasses nine hospitals – three general hospitals in Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck and six community hospitals in Alnwick, Berwick, Blyth, Morpeth, Rothbury and Sir GB Hunter in Wallsend.
Services delivered at Haltwhistle War Memorial Hospital have temporarily transferred to Hexham General Hospital to make way for a new integrated health and social care scheme.
Image: The new patient scanner unveiled at Hexham General Hospital. Photo courtesy of Hexham General Hospital.