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IMPROVING SCREENING SERVICES AT OUH

Patients who need diagnostic services across Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) – which performs 550,000 examinations every year – are set to benefit from enhanced state-of-the-art screening facilities.

Eleven new imaging units have either been installed or will be installed later this year at the Trust’s four hospital sites: the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, John Radcliffe Hospital and Churchill Hospital in Oxford, and the Horton General Hospital in Banbury.

This includes the replacement of two CT scanners, seven MRI units, and two mammography units.

The modern equipment will provide patients with high tech diagnostic technology which will improve image quality, cut unexpected machine downtime, and enhance patient care and experience.  The £21 million investment, funded by NHS England and NHS Improvement (£13.7 million) and the Trust (£7.3 million), is part of a project from the Department of Health and Social Care to replace equipment over 10 years old.

Toni Mackay, Operational Service Manager for Diagnostics at the Trust, said: “We are thrilled to bring in so many state-of-the-art diagnostic facilities to multiple sites across the Trust. This is a significant investment and is something which is bringing a wide range of benefits to our patients.  The accurate and speedy diagnosis of all medical conditions is essential for successful treatment.  It is very exciting to have the latest technology, which is giving us more capacity and will make such a positive difference to so many of our patients.”

Replacement mammography machines have been installed at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and the Horton General Hospital for patients referred for breast screening.

New CT scanners have replaced obsolete machines at the John Radcliffe and the West Wing (located at the John Radcliffe). CT scans, which use X-rays, are used to diagnose conditions and monitor the size of tumours during and after cancer treatments.  Seven MRI scanners, which use radio waves and a powerful magnet to create detailed images of body, are being replaced at the West Wing (1), John Radcliffe (2), NOC (2), and the Churchill (2). The programme is due to be finished by December 2021.

Sara Randall, Chief Operating Officer at the Trust, said: “We pride ourselves on delivering swift, safe, and compassionate care, and these new diagnostic facilities will help us maintain the top-level care we aspire to deliver to those who need us.

“Thanks to improved environments, faster scan times, and an improved image quality, the new scanners will make a huge difference to both patients and staff. Early cancer diagnosis, for example, will be far easier and will lead to more timely treatment for patients.  For years to come, this equipment will enable us to deliver the very best care for patients at Oxford University Hospitals.”

In the community, the future of an ultrasound clinic at Chipping Norton War Memorial Community Hospital, run collaboratively by OUH and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, was confirmed earlier this year following a generous charity donation.

Meanwhile, a new state-of-the-art radiotherapy machine, located at cancer care provider GenesisCare’s Littlemore centre in Oxford, is now available to NHS patients – thanks to a partnership between the Trust, the University of Oxford, and GenesisCare.