• Investment represents a commitment to patients and the NHS within the Mid-Somerset area and beyond
• New diagnostic imaging facilities include MRI, C-arm X-ray (for use in theatres) and ultrasound
• New MRI facility capable of scanning one patient every 20 minutes
• Special MRI options good for anxious patients or those with claustrophobia
• 8 reasons why you may need an MRI scan
Care UK at Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre has emphasised its commitment to continued outstanding care for NHS patients in and around Somerset, by investing more than £1 million in diagnostic imaging equipment over the past year.
Last year Care UK financed new ultrasound equipment for the hospital. This year the Treatment Centre has added a new C-arm X-ray machine for use in theatres, and it has now announced an outlay of almost £900,000 to finance a full upgrade of the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) facility. In total the investment exceeds £1 million.
All the new equipment represents an investment in the very latest technology to the benefit of local patients. The new MRI facility includes features such as silent scanning (beneficial to anxious patients who may find the noise of an MRI scan distressing) and a fast scan option which takes images in a multi-sequence action which speeds up scanning for patients suffering from claustrophobia. Varied magnetic coil options mean that it will be easier to scan a patient in a position which is most comfortable for them.
It will also reduce the scan time by between five and 10 per cent, allowing the radiography team to scan a patient every 20 minutes. At present some 12 to 15 patients can be scanned a day – the new facility will allow the team to scan more than 20.
Building work on the new MRI facility is complete and the first few patients will be scanned using the new facility towards the end of August. Patients will be routinely scanned in the new facility from September.
Chester Barnes, Hospital Director at Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre, commented: “Our investment in the very latest diagnostic imaging equipment emphasises our commitment to providing our patients with outstanding service and care. It also represents a commitment to the local NHS community of which we are a proud member. Being able to provide assurance of accurate imaging in the longer-term means that we can ensure our patients receive the treatment which achieves the best results for them.”
Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre is the first elective surgical hospital in the country to receive a Care Quality Commission report giving an overall ‘Outstanding’ rating with a clean sweep of ‘Outstanding’ ratings in all five of the individual elements of the inspection grading. The CQC’s inspectors judged the centre to be ‘Outstanding’ against the categories of ‘safe, ‘effective’, ‘caring’, ‘responsive’ and ‘well-led’ care. No other NHS, independent or private hospital CQC report published so far has the five outstanding stars on its overall rating. Only the top three per cent of hospitals in the country have been awarded the exceptional ‘Outstanding’ rating by the quality watchdog.
The services offered at the hospital cover: joint replacements (hips, knees and shoulders), general orthopaedic surgery, ear, nose and throat, endoscopy, general surgery, gynaecology, ophthalmology (such as cataract surgery), pain management, urology, and diagnostic imaging (X-rays, MRI and ultrasound).
The hospital is a great favourite with patients, and comments on its Facebook page include: “A really great hospital, fantastic”; “Love this hospital!”; “A very caring hospital”, and; “Lovely hospital, wonderful caring staff”.
Picture caption: left to right – Oana Olindraru (healthcare assistant), Zolt Balogh (consultant radiologist), Amanda Govier (administrator diagnostic imaging), James Harris (radiographer), Fiona Nelson (radiology manager) and Alison Petterson Turner
8 reasons why you may need an MRI scan
MRI scans – Magnetic Resonance Images – show anatomy and pathology inside your body. Unlike an X-ray, an MRI scan can create images of soft tissue as well as bone which means it can be used to investigate a wide range of symptoms. MRI scans can distinguish between healthy tissues and abnormal pathology or infection. An MRI scan can show detailed images of internal organs such as brain or liver.
The time it takes for an MRI scan to be completed depends on the size of the body area being imaged and what is being investigated. Modern MRI technology, like that invested in by Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre, has been designed to make a scan as comfortable as possible for the patient.
Here are 8 reasons why you may need an MRI scan following advice and examination by a health professional:
• An injury to muscle, ligament or cartilage
• Ongoing pain or pain that has not improved with treatment
• Following the discovery of certain types of lumps
• Fluid build-up, swelling or redness of a joint
• Dislocated or locked joint
• Additional diagnostics following abnormal findings from an x-ray or CT scan
• Post-surgical follow-up
• As a part of the diagnostic investigations for digestive problems