One of England’s leading NHS Trusts has welcomed the arrival of a brand new CT scanner, as its radiology staff prepare to see hundreds of patients whose scans were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Newcastle’s Rdiology department recently installed the new Siemens SOMATOM Go CT scanner at the city centre’s Royal Victoria Infirmary – home to the specialist highly infectious diseases centre where the very first patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in the UK were treated.
Critical time as normal services are resumed
Funded by NHS England and Improvement, the new CT scanner will allow Newcastle’s radiology staff to focus specifically on diagnosing chest, abdominal and head conditions, and comes at a critical time as NHS staff gear up to greet more and more patients for clinics and tests as normal services are resumed.
“The timing of our new scanner’s arrival couldn’t be better as we work hard to ensure we can continue to provide the highest standards of patient care, whilst adhering to social distancing and enhanced cleaning regimes,” explained Graeme Hughes, senior superintendent radiographer for the Newcastle Hospitals.
“Because of the new measures, we can only offer a limited number of appointments each day. Waiting areas must allow people to sit comfortably whilst adhering to social distancing guidance, and our radiographic staff are performing enhanced cleaning of all scanning areas in between patients to make sure the equipment remains as sterile as possible.”
This new scanner is an essential addition to our diagnostic capabilities and is going to make a huge difference.Graeme Hughes, senior superintendent radiographer for the Newcastle Hospitals
Graeme added: “Whilst all of these additional efforts are essential to keep our patients and staff safe, they ultimately mean that we are unable to scan as many patients as usual. This new scanner is an essential addition to our diagnostic capabilities and is going to make a huge difference.”
Thanks to NHS England & Improvement’s innovative solution to this situation, we will soon be in a position to work incredibly flexiblyGraeme Hughes, senior superintendent radiographer for the Newcastle Hospitals
Gordon Kirkup, directorate manager for Newcastle’s radiological services continued: “Thanks to NHS England & Improvement’s innovative solution to this situation, we will soon be in a position to work incredibly flexibly, able to deal with emergency, urgent and routine scanning, as well as carving through the backlog of appointments which have inevitably built up since lockdown.
“The new CT scanner joins 6 existing CT scanners on both our hospital sites, as well as a mobile CT scanning unit at the Freeman Hospital which gives us great scope to adapt our approach to scanning patients more effectively and efficiently than ever before – extremely important as we endeavour to use all our NHS assets in the best possible way during these challenging times.”