Crane hoists in second hospital MRI scanner

A hospital trust is investing more than £1m in a second MRI scanning suite.

The radiography unit at Southport and Formby District General Hospital has been extended to accommodate a new MRI scanner and work on the £1.2m project will be complete by the early New Year.

A 50ft crane will lower the seven-tonne machine into place on Sunday 28th September (see note 1).

Once installed, the machine will operate with the existing scanner which was installed in 2005. That scanning suite will be refurbished once the new scanner is operational.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a type of scanner that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body.

The scans can be used to examine almost any part of the body and the results can be used to help diagnose conditions, plan treatments and assess how effective previous treatment has been.

Capital projects manager Neil Aindow said detailed planning was needed to safely lower the £500,000 machine into place.

“Apart from the fact this is a very expensive piece of equipment, we have had to ensure the scanner is lifted safely so as not hang at any time over occupied parts of the hospital. That’s why we need such a big crane.”

The crane will be on site from 8am until lunchtime while the lift takes place. Staff will be on hand to redirect visiting motorists and ambulances as necessary around the hospital site.

Jeanette Abraham, assistant director of operations for planned care, said: “This is a major investment which will help meet increasing demand for MRI services. A second scanner will also reduce waiting times for diagnostic investigations and, in turn, get patients home more quickly.”

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