NOBLE’S Hospital’s MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner is being updated at a cost of £550,000.
The converted scanner will enable the hospital to produce a greater range of images with improved image quality, both of which will assist in providing a comprehensive diagnosis.
Additionally, scanning times will be able to be reduced if a patient’s condition determines it, without detriment to their diagnosis.
To ensure continuation of the MRI service during the conversion period, a mobile MRI scanner has been commissioned and will be sited in a van close to the radiology department at Noble’s Hospital.
The mobile unit will be used for about six weeks while the conversion of the permanent scanner takes place.
Patients who have an appointment for an MRI scan during the upgrade period are asked to attend the radiology department as usual.
The mobile scanner has the same imaging capabilities as the current scanner and therefore most types of MRI scans can be undertaken during this period.
The Department of Health says the van is equipped with a lift to enable access for wheelchair patients and assistance from staff members will also be available.
The upgrade is part of government’s capital programme, which means that the cost of the upgrade will not hit the department’s annual budget, with funding for health services unaffected.
Health Minister David Anderson MHK said: ‘I would like to apologise in advance to MRI patients for any inconvenience they may experience during this time and would like to thank them for their patience during the conversion period.’