Weston_General_Hospital_MRIA new X-ray building at Weston General Hospital, part of Weston Area Health NHS Trust, has opened to increase patient scanning capacity.  It includes the Trust’s first on-site MRI system, a MAGNETOM® Avanto T-CLASS, plus a SOMATOM Definition AS+ CT, both from Siemens Healthcare. Previously, the Trust used a mobile MR imaging service that visited three days a week.

The MAGNETOM Avanto 1.5 Tesla system combines ultra-fast image acquisition with a dramatic reduction in acoustic noise for a fast and efficient service. The system was selected by the Trust for its high resolution imaging and ease-of-use. Since installation, the MRI has been performing standard inpatient scans five days a week, increasing access for urgent patients and reducing outpatient waits. The adaptable SOMATOM Definition AS+ replaces a 4-slice system and is supporting the MRI to deliver a comprehensive scanning service. Previously, the hospital could scan patients weighing up to 25 stone but now the table capacity of the SOMATOM Definition AS+ means that patients weighing up to 36 stone can undergo scans, improving diagnosis rates and the service as a whole.  It also offers the largest bore for CT imaging in the region, at 78cm.  A core cross-sectional team of radiographers is working across both systems and the ease-of-use and consistency of the user controls was key to a swift uptake and rapid user competence.  Later in the year, the department will be supplied with innovative syngo.via® thin client software advanced visualisation system to enhance the range of scanning procedures and ensure the Trust is maximising the potential of the equipment.

“A permanent MRI service and state-of-the-art CT facilities will allow us to cope with an ongoing increase in patient numbers,” said Sue Sanderson, Lead Radiographer at Weston General Hospital.  “Our confidence in the reliability of these systems and Siemens’ servicing offerings were an important factor in the decision making process.  We are a small site and cannot afford downtime so we can be assured with Siemens that any problems will be dealt with swiftly.” Darren Parker, Regional Sales Manager at Siemens Healthcare, said “The new imaging facility is already making a big difference to Weston Area Health NHS Trust, with increased capacity and the ability to meet patient throughput challenges. The winning combination of an advanced MAGNETOM Avanto and versatile SOMATOM Definition AS+ CT will help to deliver a streamlined, high quality service at Weston General Hospital now and into the future.”