A new state-of-the-art MRI suite is to be built at Grimsby hospital to improve patient experience, reduce waiting times and allow for cancer patients to be diagnosed faster.
Work on the suite, which will house a completely new MRI department including two brand new Philips MRI scanners, began on Monday 10 February.
Peter Reading, chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to start work on this new MRI suite. It’s a great investment into the future of Grimsby Hospital and for our patients. The expectation is it will improve and speed up the experience for our patients, as well as reducing waiting times, in turn having a positive effect on any treatment they may need.”
The £8.84m suite, funded by the Department of Health and Social Care through emergency capital funding, is expected to open in spring 2021 following extensive building work, including the demolition of a former office block.
Many Grimsby patients currently travel to Scunthorpe for specialised MRI scans. When the suite opens, all types of scans will be possible at both Grimsby and Scunthorpe hospitals – allowing for more services to be delivered closer to home and reducing the need for patients to travel.
Peter added: “Once the building work is complete, we’ll be installing two new, faster MRI machines. Our current scanner at the hospital is around 15 years old and relies on support from a mobile MRI scanner, so replacing it and installing an additional machine will be a brilliant upgrade.”
“I’d like to thank those members of staff who have made this possible – it is down to them our patients will receive even better care when coming to Grimsby hospital.”
The new purpose-built facility will have separate areas for outpatients (those attending the hospital for an appointment and inpatients (those staying in hospital overnight). Over the next year there will also be a recruitment drive for more radiology staff to help run the additional scanner.
The suite has been designed by P+HS Architects and will be constructed by local building firm, Hobson & Porter Ltd.
With the building work underway, The Health Tree Foundation (HTF) has launched a new fundraising appeal to help create an ‘ambient’ experience for those patients needing an MRI scan.
The aim of the £55,000 IMAGE (Improving MRI at Grimsby for Everyone) Appeal is to buy specialist visual equipment which helps nervous or anxious patients and children during their scans.
Carol Bond, head of CT and MRI at Grimsby hospital, said: “The equipment will allow patients to really personalise their MRI experience in a way which suits them. They’ll be able to choose from a number of different videos, such as a beach, rainforest or desert which will then be projected above them during their scan.
“It will give each patient a focus, diverting their thoughts and helping them to relax during their examination. The funding will also allow us to install mood lighting within the scan room which will allow patients to select a colour.
“For those patients who are nervous or anxious about their scan, this ambient experience will help put them at ease. Some of our very anxious or claustrophobic patients currently struggle to complete their scans. In extreme cases some patients need a general anaesthetic, so we are hoping this new technology will reduce this.
“It will make such an incredible difference to our patients as our staff will be able to create a bespoke, calming experience. We really hope the community will support the IMAGE appeal to allow us to be the first Trust in the region to offer this new MRI experience to our patients.”
HTF is the official charity of Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust.
For more information about how you can fundraise to make this wish come true, please visit www.healthtreefoundation.org.uk