Mobile CT scanner in use while new hospital scanner installed

NHS Western Isles is investing around £500,000 in a new state-of-the-art CT scanner, with improved image quality and reduced scanning times.

The new scanner will be installed within the Radiology Department of Western Isles Hospital with work continuing until the beginning of July.

In the meantime, and to ensure patients do not have to travel to the mainland for CT scans, NHS Western Isles will be renting a mobile CT scanner. This means that, for this two-month period, Western Isles patients will be scanned in the mobile unit, located elsewhere on the Western Isles Hospital premises.

Jane MacDonald, NHS Western Isles Acting Radiology Manager, said: “As the interim solution will be located elsewhere on the Western Isles Hospital site, staff in the Radiology Department will guide patients to where they need to go. Also patients will need to take extra care when attending as there is a set of steps leading up to the machine. There will be a lift if required.”

Computed Tomography (CT) scanners are often the first imaging technology many patients encounter when doctors suspect certain diseases or injuries.

The machines use a narrow beam of x-rays processed by a computer to create slices of the body and assemble them into detailed 3D images. The new scanner is an 80 slice CT system from Canon Medical Systems, replacing the 64 slice scanner currently in use.

Dr John Reid, Consultant Lead Radiologist for NHS Western Isles, said: “It’s great news that NHS Western Isles is to update the existing scanner with a state-of-the-art machine.

“CT scanning is at the heart of modern diagnostic medicine and often represents the first investigation for many specialities, ranging from chest medicine to neurology.”

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson stated: “The advent of multi-slice scanners, with their improved resolution, patient throughput and range of diagnostic applications is making an important contribution to patient care.

“We are delighted to have been able to invest in this important piece of equipment, which will meet our CT scanning needs here in the Western Isles, and will enable us to continue to provide this important service to patients.”

The new 80-slice scanner will:

Ensure the lowest possible radiation dose to the patient.

Continue to enable NHS Western Isles to provide local diagnosis without the need for mainland transfer of some patients suffering from potentially life threatening conditions.

Improve image quality, allowing high definition scanning at a lower dose.