PLANS are in place to invest nearly £2m into new equipment at at Southampton hospital this month.

The Spire Southampton Hospital, based at Chalybeate Close, has spent £1.8milion on a new MRI scanner that will allow for quicker and quieter scans.

The new equipment will offer an improved resolution and detection of abnormalities, speeding up the overall time to reach a clinical diagnosis.

Fiona Taylor, the Hospital Director at Spire Southampton Hospital, said: “This significant sum of investment comes at a critical time when all Spire hospitals and its staff are gearing up to support the NHS with tackling COVID-19.

"This MRI scanner will help us to reach timely and more accurate diagnoses for patients with other urgent medical conditions that need investigating or treatment.

“Once Spire Southampton is back to ‘business as usual’, the scanner will be available for patients to book on a ‘one off’ basis so they can receive a scan quickly before being treated by us, or returning to the NHS.

"Having this equipment expands our offering to a wider pool of local people and Spire Southampton can’t wait to start using it, later in the month.”

Once launched, the state-of-the-art machine will be available as part of the agreement Spire Healthcare, alongside the whole of the independent sector, has signed with NHS to provide additional capacity.

As part of this agreement, Spire Healthcare is making available the capacity of its hospitals to the NHS to help alleviate the additional pressure brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Spire Healthcare is a leading independent hospital group in the United Kingdom, with 39 private hospitals and eight clinics across England, Wales and Scotland.

Spire treats patients through a variety of routes including PMI, Self-pay and the NHS, providing the Group with diversified access to the expected growth opportunities in the UK healthcare market, which faces significant supply challenges as a result of NHS budget constraints and increasing demand from a growing population.