Patients needing a CT scan at Bishop Auckland Hospital are
benefitting from the latest technology as a new high spec scanner
Nearly £400,000, has been invested by County Durham and
Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, to bring patients the high tech
diagnostic equipment which will reduce waiting time, cut scanning
time down to seconds and significantly improve the image quality of
A CT (computerised tomography) scanner is a different kind of
x-ray machine which sends several beams simultaneously from
different angles. It can be used to diagnose bleeding in the brain,
for aneurysms, brain tumours and brain damage or for identifying
tumours and abscesses throughout the body.
Dr Peter Orr, a radiologist at County Durham and Darlington NHS
Foundation Trust said: "The new 64 slice scanner has vastly
improved the service we can offer patients at Bishop Auckland. The
new scanner produces images in much finer detail which makes
diagnosis much more certain and more accurate. It brings us up to
date with the latest technology and enables us to now do a much
wider range of examinations for example a CT of the urinary tract
which we couldn't do previously. So the patient benefits from this
investment are significant and already we are receiving comments
about an improved patient experience of the service."
The CT machine takes pictures of the body from different angles
and gives a series of cross sections or 'slices' through the part
of the body being scanned. A very detailed picture of the inside of
the body can be built up in this way.
The new Toshiba Aquillion 64 machine replaces a Toshiba single
-slice scanner and means routine studies can now generate thousands
of images per study. It has also reduced the actual scan time from
a few minutes to 10 seconds for a head scan and 20 seconds for a
Judith Kent, Deputy Radiology Manager said: "This is a
significant investment at Bishop Auckland Hospital and is something
which is bringing a wide range of benefits to our patients. The
quality and speed of the scans mean that patients are on the bed
for a much shorter period of time and that waiting times have been
reduced, all of which contribute to an improved patient experience.
In addition to this, the new machine has enabled us to adapt our
technique and means that patients can now go into the scanner feet
first, depending on the type of scan required, rather than head
first which patients have said makes them much more comfortable.
Another patient benefit is the reduction in radiation dose levels.
We are now able to see on average about 26 patients a day and we
aim to increase this to 30 patients a day to continue to reduce
waiting times even further for patients.
"It is very exciting to have the latest technology which is
giving us more capacity and the ability to be make us think about
what we are doing and what more we could be doing for our
Plans are in place to also install the new scanner at Darlington
Memorial Hospital in October and the scanner at University Hospital
of Durham has now also been upgraded to a Toshiba Aquillion 64
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community