People & places

State-of-the-art radiology department unveiled

September 24, 2019

Managed service and maintenance provider Althea has completed a £4m refurbishment and replacement project at Whittington Health NHS Trust’s Imaging Department.

The new diagnostic imaging equipment, which was updated and installed over a two-year period, includes 14 ultrasounds, a CT scanner, a fluoroscopy system, 5 digital x-ray rooms 2 mobile x-ray machines, 1 digital dental x-ray and a mammography unit.

Being vendor independent, Althea was able to source the equipment from a variety of different manufacturers including GE, Canon, Samsung, Siemens, Hologic and Planmeca; choosing each item specifically based on clinicians’ and patients’ needs.

Included within the new equipment is the Nuclear Medicine Department equipped with a state-of-the-art SPECT-CT scanner. This hybrid scanner allows detection of the organ’s functional information using the SPECT camera and precise localisation of relevant areas using the CT scanner. The amalgamation of these two diagnostic tools provide massive improvements in the quality of nuclear medicine images resulting to higher confidence in detecting, localising and in certain examinations, quantifying the degree of pathologic findings.

Also included are 5 new Samsung digital x-ray rooms and 2 mobile systems – all with wireless imaging detectors. They are designed to raise efficiency to a whole new level due to its streamlined operation. The new machines come equipped with state-of-the-art technologies such as S-Detector, S-Vue & S-Align, which provides outstanding image quality to enhance patient diagnosis.

The department’s new stitching package has also enhanced the diagnostic process for spinal patients and has provided an added dimension to improve patient management. Through ease of use and automated positioning, patient imaging examination times are reduced allowing a greater volume of patients to be seen in the same time frame.

Also newly installed is a Hologic 3Dimensions mammography unit which provides superior resolution diagnostic breast imaging and High Definition Tomosynthesis, facilitating more accurate diagnosis of smaller breast lesions particularly in dense breast tissue. The Affirm Biopsy package allows biopsies to be performed under tomography guidance, enabling faster and more accurate sampling of micro-calcifications and wire localisation placement.

With all equipment now operational and providing patients with the quality of services they deserve; Althea has shifted its focus to providing service excellence. On the ground, its specialist team ensure ongoing maintenance and training programmes are closely managed, minimising equipment downtime and promoting the use of these new digital technologies to maximum effect.

Helen Taylor, Clinical Director for Acute Patient Access, Clinical Support Services and Women’s Health at Whittington Health NHS Trust, said:

“Everything we do here at Whittington Health is driven by our ambition to provide our patients with outstanding safe, compassionate and innovative care. The refurbishment of our Imaging Department together with all of the new and more advanced technology which Althea has installed is a key example of how we are delivering this vision.”

David Rolfe, UK&I Chief Executive Officer at Althea, commented:

“We have been working with the Trust since 2005 and this is the second time we have completed a refurbishment and replacement project within the Imaging Department. From day one we have worked closely to evaluate the Radiography needs of the Trust and develop a sustainable long-term equipment replacement programme. The partnership guarantees that the Trust’s state-of-the-art equipment will be maintained throughout the lifetime of the contract enabling them to focus solely on patient care.”

The new Radiology Department was formally unveiled at a special open evening on Friday 6th September. Invited guests included local GPs from Haringey and Islington boroughs, Radiology undergraduates, as well as WH’s executive team, staff and Imaging suppliers. Professor Mary Lovegrove OBE, Emeritus Professor of Education and Development for Allied Health Professions was the keynote speaker.

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