Charing Cross Outpatients to Be 'Decanted' to Other Centres

To allow for installation of new state of the art MRI scanner

Charing Cross Hospital

May 6, 2024

Charing Cross Hospital outpatients requiring MRI scans are being “decanted” to other centres across London while a new state of the art scanner is being installed.

The Fulham Palace Road hospital says it is investing in a 3T MRI scanner for its imaging department as a replacement for its existing 15-year-old scanner.

The hospital says, “ We are working with estates and facilities to ensure that the installation, which will be on the first floor of Charing Cross Hospital, has as little impact as possible.

“We expect the busiest periods to be during removal of the existing scanner in May and the introduction of the new scanner in September.

“ In order to ensure we maintain MRI capacity during the installation works, from May 7 till October 1, most MRI outpatient care will be decanted to St Mary’s Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital, and the Wembley Community Diagnostic Centre during this period.”

The hospital says that the Philips 3T 7700, which is costing £3.4 million, is one of the most advanced MRI - short for magnetic resonance imaging - scanners available. It offers a much wider range of scans and significantly improved images, assisted by the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which will improve its diagnostic capability and give it the ability to tailor scans more closely to patients’ needs.

It will also provide a better experience for patients, with a screen and audio within the scanner to guide them through the scan itself. For some patients, it could also mean shorter scan times. There are also prism glasses, which enable patients to see outside the machine during the scan and can help people with feelings of claustrophobia.

Charing Cross has also agreed to become a reference centre for the scanner in our local region, which will mean continuing to receive the latest software updates and three months of training to support staff using the new equipment from October onwards.

An MRI scanner
An MRI scanner

Dr Amrish Mehta, consultant radiologist and director of women’s, cardiac, clinical support and sexual health services at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said: "This investment is great news for staff and patients alike. This cutting-edge technology will significantly improve our diagnostic capability and quality, allowing us to better tailor scans to patients' needs.

“The scanner itself also has features which I hope will make the experience a little easier for patients.

"Thank you to everyone involved in this exciting programme, including everyone supporting the temporary decant so we can maintain our MRI capacity during the installation."

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which includes Charing Cross, Hammersmith and St Mary’s Hospitals says investment in the new scanner is part of its wider estates investment plan.

This includes refurbishment and rebuilding schemes for Charing Cross and Hammersmith Hospitals refurbishment and rebuild schemes, with first-stage business cases to be released shortly.

A second phase of improvements to 3 West ward at Charing Cross Hospital, costing £2.4 million, is already in the pipeline. This will expand consultation and waiting areas, alongside wider refurbishment, and is due to be delivered by March next year.

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