New £1.3m scanner could cut cancer waiting times

A new state-of-the-art CT scanner at the Spire Norwich hospital at Colney.

A new state-of-the-art CT scanner at the Spire Norwich hospital at Colney. - Credit: Mark Mercer

A new £1.3m scanner will scan up to 20 people per day for cancer, boosting provision in Norwich and the surrounding areas.

The CT scanner, installed at the city's Spire hospital will also be able to look for neurological, stomach and kidney problems.

And as Spire is currently supporting the National Health Service with its response to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is hoped the new equipment will alleviate pressure on waiting lists, reducing the amount of time both NHS and private patients wait for a scan.

Spire Norwich hospital director Nayab Haider said: "We are absolutely committed to making sure our patients can have fast access to diagnosis and treatment. Investing in state-of-the-art facilities, like our new scanner, enables us to do this.

"We are proud to have played an important role in helping to keep cancer services going during the pandemic, when local trusts have needed to focus on treating Covid-positive patients. With our new scanner, we can continue to do this."

The Spire Hospital Norwich at Colney. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Spire Hospital Norwich at Colney. - Credit: Denise Bradley

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The new machine means scans will take less time to be completed, meaning it can be used to help more people in an average day.

Also, the extra provision means Spire can now expand its scanning operation to weekends, if there is enough demand.

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A chemotherapy service was brought in at the hospital during the first wave of the pandemic, as part of a deal struck with NHS England to support the NHS with cancer treatment.

In that first peak, between 60 and 70 patients were seen per day for that service, with up to 1,000 NHS patients per week cared for at the hospital.

It took six weeks for specialist teams to put the new machine together from scratch – a process made even more complex by the need to maintain social distancing and infection control throughout.

Patient John Lyndon-Taylor was one of the first to use the new scanner.

He said: "I wanted to say how grateful I am to the CT team for making my appointment so relaxed and stress-free. The CT technicians were so helpful in explaining the full process. My thanks to them all."

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