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NEW MRI scanner installed thanks to generous donations

MRI BAH launch

Patients at Bishop Auckland Hospital can now benefit from the first of two new state of the art MRI scanners coming to County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust as part of an on-going major public fundraising campaign.

The scanner has been installed whilst fundraising continues throughout 2018, thanks to manufacturer Philips who have deferred payment until the end of the year.

Dr Elizabeth Loney, Consultant Radiologist and Care Group Director for Clinical Specialist Services, said, "I'm delighted that our patients can now benefit from this innovate technology at Bishop Auckland Hospital and look forward to the installation of our Darlington Memorial Hospital scanner too, once building work to accommodate it is completed during the spring.  Modern scanners play an important part in helping our Consultants diagnose and determine treatment plans for what can be life threatening or life limiting conditions, including many types of cancer and heart disease.  Previously patients may have had to undergo exploratory and sometimes invasive surgery to support the diagnostic process. This advanced technology, which provides detailed and high quality images, will help reduce many such interventions, improving the patient experience.

"Not everyone realises that MRI scans take between 30 and 40 minutes which is a long time to lie still, but our new scanners have wider tunnels, known as 'bores' and are much quieter than older models.  Patients can also choose from a selection of lighting programmes which change during the scan.  All of this leads to a much improved patient experience.  In the past, children and some adults required sedation or a general anaesthetic in order to tolerate being scanned, but we're finding this is now much less likely.  This not only means reduced risks to the patient an an anaesthetic is avoided but also saves hospital beds, traditionally required for recover.

"We've been amazed and very touched by the generosity of local people who have donated to our Appeal.  Individuals, groups, associations and local businesses have all stepped-up, recognising the huge benefits these scanners will bring.  It's important that this generosity and fundraising continues throughout 2018.

MRI BAH launch

One of the first patients to benefit from the new Bishop Auckland scanner was seven year old Warren Hubble, from Sacriston. Warren's dad, Wayne Hubble, explains, "Children often need to have a general anaesthetic ahead of an MRI scan and when they told me how long Warren would need to lie still, I thought he would need an anaesthetic.  However the radiographer talked to Warren, explained what was going to happen and let him choose his own lighting options. Warren loved the lights and the way they changed and, because the scanner was so quiet, the Radiographer was able to talk to him through a speaker throughout the scan.  Amazingly, Warren lay completely still for the full 30 minutes, which I don't think would have been possible with one of the older scanners. I'm so pleased he didn't need an anaesthetic or even sedation." 


Published 20th February 2018

'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after and very impressed.'

Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital