Partnership boosts imaging services at private London hospital

BMI/Alliance Medical link-up leads to introduction of CT and MRI scanners

A partnership between BMI Healthcare and supplier, Alliance Medical, has led to the introduction of state-of-the-art technology at Cavell Hospital in Enfield.

The link-up has enabled the procurement of a new GE Optima MR450w open-bore MRI scanner, which will form the centrepiece of a £1.7m imaging department being built at the hospital. It will also serve a second BMI centre, The Kings Oak Hospital, located nearby.

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The scanner, which weighs the same as a double-decker bus, was crane-lifted into its final position and, once operational, will allow clinicians at the hospital to significantly expand the range of diagnostic services available.

The new MRI scanner weighs the same as a double-decker bus so had to be craned into the building

Consultant cardiologist, Dr Tom Crake, said: “The new scanner will offer patients access to state-of-the art scanning and faster, higher-quality images and results. It will also improve the cardiac, spinal, neurological, musculo-skeletal, orthopaedic, vascular, urological, abdominal and breast imaging services available, allowing clinicians from a range of specialties to offer a wider selection of routine and more complex MRI procedures to their patients.”

Unlike conventional MRI scanners, the open-bore model does not require the patient’s whole body to be inside the machine. For most examinations, the patient’s head will remain outside the scanner. If it is necessary for the head to be positioned inside, the open bore provides 30cm of space above their face, about twice that of a traditional machine. Aside from reducing patients’ anxiety this new technology allows the hospital to accommodate patients with pain and mobility issues, claustrophobia and respiratory problems. The scanner can also cope with larger patients.

Nasser Hussain, imaging manager at the hospitals, said: “We are all very excited about the delivery of this new piece of equipment and very much look forward to the opening of the new imaging department later this year. The investment will improve the pathway of patients at the hospital, reducing any anxiety by dramatically speeding up the time between consultation, scan and diagnosis.”

As part of the BMI/Alliance partnership, the hospitals will also welcome the installation of the latest GE Optima 660 64-slice CT scanner. David Loasby, business development director at Alliance Medical, said: “Both the MRI and CT scanners will sit alongside the hospital’s recently upgraded Siemens Multix Top X-ray and fully-equipped ultrasound and mammography departments to create a centre of diagnostic excellence in Enfield. The MRI and CT scanners will undergo installation and final preparation before the new unit is open and able to welcome its first patients in the spring.”

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