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New scanner and virtual ceiling installed at FGH

7 February 2019

A new SPECT-CT suite with a virtual ceiling to improve patient experience has been installed in the X-ray Department at Furness General Hospital (FGH).

The equipment has replaced the existing gamma camera and has the addition of an integral CT scanner.  This new equipment uses functional nuclear medicine images fused with the anatomical detail of a CT scan and is the first scanner of this type in the Trust.

The new scanner is part of a £1 million revamp of the department which has included the creation of a new X-ray room, which is a state-of-the-art digital radiography suite.  This room will be used primarily for outpatient and GP patients and should reduce waiting times.

A refurbishment of other parts of the department such as waiting areas, changing cubicles for patients, new flooring, ceilings, lighting, decoration and furniture will be completed by Easter.

Joanne Park, Acting Deputy Head of Department, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), said: “The new equipment will mean it is easier for staff to use; and the quality of images the newer machines are producing will aid accuracy and a quicker diagnosis.  This is a significant investment from the Trust and shows the commitment to ensuring our patients have access to the latest imaging techniques.

“The virtual ceiling is a great feature that really will improve patient experience. Instead of staring at a blank ceiling they will have a calming view of woodland which will help to ease any anxiety.”

Foluke Ajayi, Chief Operating Officer, UHMBT, said: “Patient care and experience is paramount to the Trust and we feel the state-of-the-art facilities will provide a more positive experience for our patients.”

The department saw 86,000 patients at FGH last year who needed radiological examinations.

The Trust’s outpatient and inpatient services and emergency departments refer patients to the X-ray department and local GPs have open access Monday to Friday, meaning they can send patients without an appointment.