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HealthTameside Hospital increases MRI capacity with new suite installation

Tameside Hospital increases MRI capacity with new suite installation

Tameside Hospital is expanding its inhouse MRI capacity thanks to some last-minute funding, and its long-term partner, Canon Medical Systems UK.

With 2.5 million more people in England projected to be living with major illness by 2040, increasing diagnostic imaging capacity has never been more important.

Playing a critical role in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as cancer, as well as many neurological and heart conditions, the demand for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is at an all-time high.

However, currently the UK has far fewer MRI scanners than nearly any other comparable country.

To address this increasing demand, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, collaborated with its partner of 20 years, to expand its in-house MRI capacity.

Utilising last-minute funding awarded to Greater Manchester from the NHS, the hospital leveraged its long-term relationship with Canon Medical to design and deliver a bespoke, purpose-built MRI suite that will serve as a permanent solution for the hospital.

The integrated modular unit, consisting of two modules to accommodate waiting and changing rooms, houses Canon Medical’s Vantage Orian MRI system, a second MRI scanner for the hospital.

Replacing a separate external mobile unit situated in the car park, the new unit allows clinical staff to serve in-patients, as well as emergency and outpatients, within the main hospital – something that had previously not been possible.

Jennifer Riley, cross-sectional (CT/MRI) service lead radiographer at Tameside Hospital, said: “This wasn’t just a case of procuring MRI equipment to meet increasing demand. Careful consideration needed to be given to where the new system would be housed to meet the needs of both our in-patients and outpatients.

“Working with Canon Medical, we needed a permanent solution to increase MRI capacity within a very tight timeframe to meet the requirements of our funding. Ensuring accessibility and a positive patient experience, both during and post-installation, was crucial. The new suite needed to feel like part of the existing site without changing the fabric of the building. During construction, we worked hard to ensure minimal disruption to patient services.”

Matthew Kilheeney, radiology manager at Tameside Hospital, said: “At the onset of the pandemic when demand peaked and Covid restrictions were in place, Canon Medical provided us with a mobile CT scanner to increase capacity and support social distancing.

“So, when faced with the challenge of building a whole new suite, we knew we could turn to Canon Medical to help execute the whole project. They helped us roll out an end-to-end solution in under nine months – from sourcing equipment to designing and building the unit to house the MRI system.”

Over many years, Canon Medical has provided the trust with numerous diagnostic imaging solutions – including two Ultrasound systems, a fluoroscopy room and three tomography scanners.  The CT scanners feature a modular viewing platform that unifies workflows, enabling greater diagnostic productivity.

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