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New MRI Scanner Ready For Use

Guernsey's new MRI scanner will be used from next week following a £1.3m upgrade.

Patients will be the first to experience the new start of the art facility at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital.

The MRI suite is ready for use after five months of upgrades.

The enormous magnet from the 13 year old scanner has been repurposed in a newly-built piece of kit within a fully refurbished scanning room.

For the past 16 weeks patients have had to have MRI scans in a rented scanner in a lorry trailer.

Staff have had their final training and are ready to use the new Siemens Avanto FIT MRI equipment, which will do around 5,500 scans a year.

"The MRI scanner is a vital part of our hospital facility with constant high demand on it, whether it be emergencies or scheduled appointments. We complete 5,500 scans a year. The old scanner had exceeded its lifespan and what we have now will be far more comfortable for patients. It is a huge step forward."  - Head of radiology services Alistair Richards

The main room housing the scanner was stripped back to a bare shell and installed with a new copper cage, which seals the entire space. Then the ceiling, walls and floor were replaced.

The magnet was then slid back in and incorporated into the new scanner. Siemens have installed the latest software and new ancillary hardware such as new coils, a new bed and new control room.

Finally, mood lighting and ceiling-mounted screens  - which can project calming nature scenes for the patient - have been installed.

Some appointments this week had had be postponed as the temporary scanner was taken out of use, but those patients be prioritised for the new scanner and their scans completed within 10 days.

"We would like to sincerely thank all the patients who have supported the successful use of the temporary MRI facility for the last 17 weeks and apologise for the small number who have required postponement of their original appointment.’"

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