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Home > News > £1 million MRI scanner moves into new West Cumberland Hospital

£1 million MRI scanner moves into new West Cumberland Hospital

Posted on Tuesday 18th August 2015
MRI WCH

The opening of the new West Cumberland Hospital moved an important step closer last week with the arrival of a brand new million pound MRI scanner.

The new static scanner, which has cost £1.2 million to purchase and install, will provide an enhanced service to the people of West Cumbria when the new hospital opens in October, replacing the mobile scanner which operates on site at present.

Patients who currently have to travel to Carlisle or further afield for complex MRI will now have access on their doorstep and the bigger aperture (opening) of the magnet will enable better access for all patients and alleviate the claustrophobia that some describe.

Dr Jon Berry, consultant and clinical director for radiology, said: “We have been provided with an excellent mobile service in Whitehaven for many years but it does have its limitations. The highly specified technology within the new system will improve image quality, reduce sequence time and be more intuitive for the operator, resulting in improved diagnostics, seven days a week.”

The new MRI scanner will be located in the X-ray department (radiology) in a central area of the new hospital with three ways to enter the department – from a ward (using the patient/staff only corridor), from A&E and as an outpatient or GP referral. This means inpatients requiring an MRI scan will no longer have to leave the hospital building. The department will also house:

  • two new digital x-ray machines
  • two ultrasound machines
  • a fluoroscopy machine (a type of medical imaging that shows a continuous x-ray image on a monitor so the movement of a body part can be seen in detail)
  • a new CT scanner which will have improved imaging quality

Staff will be trained to use the new equipment by applications specialists together with the Trust’s specialist MR radiographers from the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

Dr Berry added: “The team is very much looking forward to moving into the new department and offering patients the best possible standard of care in this first class facility."