£650,000 MRI scanner goes in through the roof

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A NEW £650,000 MRI scanner was lowered by a 150-tonne crane through the roof of the X-ray department at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital on Sunday.

Weighing five tonnes, the new scanner is part of a £1.2 million package to further develop Pilrim’s radiology department, which will extend its opening hours from eight to 12 hours a day and its working week from five to six days.

The new scanner is capable of making faster and more detailed scans than the old machine, which was installed in 1999, and hospital bosses say the new scanner is expected to cut patient waiting times from three to two weeks.

Pilgrim’s superintendent radiographer, Paul Craven, said: “The new scanner will mean more patients from Boston and surrounding areas can benefit from the improved service closer to home – rather than having to travel to Grantham or Lincoln to get an MRI appointment.”

Other improvements in the radiology department will see new patient preparation and recovery areas, a bigger waiting area, a better changing area and better access for wheelchairs.

Staff will get a new office space and there will be a new consultant office along with a new teaching and study area.

Extra radiographers and support staff are being recruited,

Radiology services manager Nigel Allen said: “The new scanner will be able to image around 25 patients a day – an increase of almost 30 per cent – resulting in shorter waiting times.”