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New scanner unveiled at hospital
8:00am Tuesday 19th March 2013 in News
IT has emerged like a phoenix from the ashes.
The Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester has opened its new MRI and CT scanning unit – just over a year after its predecessor was destroyed in a massive blaze.
The new £2m hi-tech equipment is housed within a newand- improved unit, replacing the former facility, which was reduced to rubble in the fire of December 2011.
CT scans began last week while MRI scans are provisionally set to start this week.
Dr Julian Elford, lead consultant radiologist, said: “Our new CT scanner is fantastic.
The things that this can do will increase what we as a hospital can do.
“It’s one of only a few in the south of England and uses a very low dose of radiation that you would normally find in an X-ray machine.
“Our whole unit was good before but we think it’s better now. It’s not possible to overstate how good this equipment is. It is as good as it gets across the country.”
Donna Green, chief nurse at Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust, which runs the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, added: “We are really excited about this. All the good things from the old department have been maintained and we have improved it for new patients.”
The Philips 1.5T Ingenia MRI scanner and the GE HD 750 Discovery CT scanner each cost just over £1m. The unit also includes another CT scanner that survived the fire.
The new MRI scans faster and in higher definition while it is also more comfortable for patients and includes calming mood lighting.
Meanwhile the CT scanner can now make more accurate diagnoses, particularly in cardiac patients, and has increased image quality.
The unit also has a new control room where images can be displayed from each scanner.
The fire in December 2011 started accidentally in the roof, but the investigation into its cause was delayed for weeks because the giant magnet inside the MRI scanner could not be switched off.
ead radiographer Steve Ross said they had taken precautions to make sure that did not happen again, including fireproof cabling between the magnet and the switch.
The replacement models were funded by insurance pay-outs and a £10m Government grant.