Patients will be using latest generation MRI scanners at Walsall Manor Hospital from next month following completion of a major healthcare investment.
Work to house two new scanners started in January this year in partnership with the InHealth Group which provides the service.
The equipment is used to diagnose and identify a range of conditions from back and knee injuries to brain problems cancer, multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s previous scanner was more than 16 years old.
The Trust has entered into a 15 year contract with the InHealth Group which has seen the replacement of the old scanner and installation of a second.
The Siemens Aera scanners provide exceptional image quality and are more suitable for patients who suffer from claustrophobia than standard scanners. They are also suitable for bariatric patients – a service that has previously been unavailable in Walsall.
The investment will also enable the Trust to make better use of its financial resources.
Russell Caldicott, the Trust’s Lead Executive Director for the MRI project, said: “We are delighted that this major project is now nearing completion and that from 10 September our scanner provision will be doubled.
“This means borough patients won’t have to wait as long for a scan and the Trust can increase the number of patients it sees which is so important for those people anxiously awaiting investigations and diagnoses.
“I’d also like to thank patients and staff for bearing with us during the construction work. While disruption has been kept to a minimum and the service has been maintained we appreciate people’s patience.”
InHealth has delivered managed MRI services to Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, at the Walsall Manor Hospital site, for more than 17 years. This new contract, and associated partnership, will enable a collaborative approach towards achieving the Trust’s strategic aims which include extending clinical services and training for staff.
Mr Graham Ogden, InHealth Director of Operations North, added: “We are proud of our longstanding and trusted partnership with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and are honoured to be able to continue this partnership for a further 15 years, working with the Trust to deliver an outstanding service, provide quicker access to diagnostic imaging and facilitate a broader clinical patient base.”
The latest generation scanners only require 24 hours maintenance per year as opposed to the usual 36 hours to reduce downtime. Radiologists are able to view and interact with the images whilst the patient is in the scanner.