New £1 million MRI scanner will help reduce waiting times at Larbert hospital

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It may look like a giant hi-tech polo mint but Forth Valley Royal Hospital’s brand new £1 million MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanner while help reduce hospital waiting times.

The eight ton 3Tesla scanner was carefully craned into position outside the Larbert hospital before being wheeled along a corridor into its new home within the hospital’s radiology department.

NHS Forth Valley Chief Executive, Cathie Cowan, said: “We know that waiting for a scan or an operation can be very stressful and this significant investment will help us to reduce delays for many patients.”

The magnet in the new MRI scanner, which is double the strength of FRVH’s existing MRI scanner, will be able to provide higher quality images for more complex scans and faster scan times and will be set up over the next few weeks in a specially refurbished room with a picture ceiling and ambient lighting to help patients relax in calming and less clinical surroundings.

Sandra Robertson, NHS Forth Valley’s radiology department manager, said: “Our existing MRI was replaced last year and it’s great to have a second new scanner so soon. This will not only enable us to provide thousands of additional MRI scans every year but will also provide back up if there are any operational or technical issues.”

MRI scanners are used to take images of all parts of the body including the brain, spinal cord, heart and blood vessels and internal organs such as the liver, womb, prostate gland and gall bladder.

This second scanner, which has led to the recruitment of a further six radiographers, will enable NHS Forth Valley to scan thousands of additional patients every year with scanning taking place 12 hours a day, seven days a week.