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Patients set to benefit from faster diagnosis thanks to new £958,000 scanner at Ipswich Hospital

PUBLISHED: 11:00 14 June 2017

Raquel Martins, nuclear medicine technologist at Ipswich Hospital, showing the scanner to colleagues in nuclear medicine and estates. Picture: IPSWICH HOSPITAL

Raquel Martins, nuclear medicine technologist at Ipswich Hospital, showing the scanner to colleagues in nuclear medicine and estates. Picture: IPSWICH HOSPITAL

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More patients at Ipswich Hospital can now have their diagnosis confirmed in one visit after a £958,000 project to install a state-of-the-art scanner.

Jane Micheal, head of radiography, and Mark Finch, capital projects manager, with the new scanner. Picture: IPSWICH HOSPITALJane Micheal, head of radiography, and Mark Finch, capital projects manager, with the new scanner. Picture: IPSWICH HOSPITAL

The SPECT-CT camera is able to take two types of images at once so it can automatically fuse together a nuclear medicine scan and a CT (computed tomography) scan.

This gives medical staff a much clearer image to help diagnosis and treatment planning.

Previously, patients who needed both scans would have to visit the hospital twice.

The new camera runs alongside the hospital’s existing gamma camera, and replaces an older machine which was only able to take limited nuclear medicine images.

Jane Micheal, head of radiography at the hospital, said: “This new, state-of-the-art scanner will make a big difference as it will give us more opportunities for one stop diagnosis. That means our patients will only need to come into hospital for one appointment rather than two.

“The machine will also be better for our doctors and nurses as it will not only provide them with higher quality pictures, but will also fuse together the nuclear medicine and CT images automatically, in turn saving time. The scans also allow us to plan the patient’s treatment more efficiently.”

As part of the installation the nuclear medicine department has been given a facelift. The reception has been improved, making it lighter and more open with better disabled access, in turn improving the experience of patients.

Ms Michael added: “The work which has taken place in the department has also made a big difference, and has made it a much lighter, brighter space for our staff to work in and for patients who are waiting for treatment.”

Capital projects manager Mark Finch said: “I would like to pass my thanks onto colleagues within the hospital for their help in driving the project forward. It has resulted in a team achievement to be proud of, arriving on time and on budget.

“As a result of careful planning, minimal disruption was caused to the nuclear medicine and adjoining oncology services departments, which were able to operate without interruption throughout the 20-week programme for the benefit of our patients.”

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