£9m boost to cut wait times

Radiographer Lauren Jones with one of the new machines at Blackpool Victoria Hospital
Radiographer Lauren Jones with one of the new machines at Blackpool Victoria Hospital
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Waiting times are set to be slashed at Blackpool Victoria Hospital thanks to a £9m investment into new technology.

More than 100 new pieces of kit have been installed at the hospital’s radiology department, including mobile X-ray units, a vascular intervention lab and a CT scanner for the cardiothoracic unit which can also take images of the heart and coronary arteries.

The Vic also boasts a new reporting system, known as PACS, which allows for more efficient reporting by the 
consultant radiologists as well as several new offices which have been built to meet demands on consultants.

Dr Roger Bury, head of the radiology department, said: “The Trust has almost completed a major period of work that will see major improvements for local patients.

“Medical imaging is a vital part most patients’ experience of healthcare, the more availability and efficient we are in this area the better it will be for patients. The new equipment will provide faster and more accurate diagnosis and treatment for patients and also help improve the patient’s journey.”

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is now in possession of five image intensifying X-ray machines and two mobile kits that will produce top quality images to ensure the best possible diagnoses of a patient.

It has also refurbished five of its X-ray rooms at The Vic, two of which are connected to the emergency department so patients’ X-rays are instantly viewable in a high quality.

The new imaging rooms can also be used to examine patients after a trauma.

Radiology clinical manager, Lesley Stanney, who has overseen the developments at The Vic, said: “On average we X-ray 170 patients per day through the emergency department alone. Much of the equipment in radiology had reached or was approaching end of life. The new technology we are using has future proofed the services we are able to offer. The Emergency Department imaging rooms now have the most up to date technology in terms of general X-ray imaging and feature numerous advantages over our previous X-ray rooms, for both staff and patients.

“The robustness and reliability of the new systems is evident and this was a priority reason for its selection for the Trust which imaging cover all day, every day.”

The Trust has also bought two mobile digital machines which can be taken to wards.

The new DRX Revolution mobiles use wireless technology to send images from the detector back to the machine. This means patients don’t have to get out of bed and the consultants are able to view the X-ray image on a screen while standing next to the patient, within just seconds of it being taken.

A trust spokesman said the new CT Scanner was state of the art and was an addition to the existing two CT scanners within the main radiology department of the trust.