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New super-fast MRI scanner goes live in Swansea hospital

Barry Spedding

A new state of the art MRI scanner is online in Morriston Hospital and already benefitting patients.

The General Electric machine cost around £3 million but is a significant and much needed investment that will enhance the quality of the care the hospital offers patients.

The new technology allows radiography teams to take far more detailed images in a fraction of the time that older generation scanners needed. 

Not only does this help clinicians to be more accurate in their diagnosis and treatment of patients, it also allows patients to be scanned more quickly - cutting waiting times.

Superintendent radiographer, Barry Spedding (pictured above with members of his team), said: “It has the most up to date technology that General Electric can offer on an MRI scanner and it enables us to scan patients much quicker. 

“The technology also allows us to do a lot more advance imaging, in particular on the heart, the liver and some of the brain. It has the advantage of more complex software.  

“We do get some very ill patients at Morriston that are prone to moving quite a lot, so the advantage of being able to scan more quickly is we can get a very good picture in half the time.

“It will definitely help the waiting lists because it means we scan more people in a day. And sometimes, because of the advanced software, we can do one sequence that can give us multiple results. So instead of doing individual sequences we only do one sequence.

“In the time that it would have taken to do one brain sequence 30 to 20 years ago we can now do an entire brain scan in the same amount of time. The advances in technology are phenomenal.

Pictured above: Barry Spedding inspecting the work carried out to house the new MRI scanner.

“The amount of detail you get from an MRI scan, especially when it comes to soft tissue, is far superior from what you get when you take an x-ray. Plus we can also do functional work as well so we can actually see how the brain or liver works by the advance in software that we have been given with this machine.”

The new scanner is located in what used to be the staff room with project being funded by Welsh Government.

The refurbished room and spec of the new scanner has the added advantage of making the patient more at ease. 

Barry said: “The lighting in the new room is exceptional, where are in the old room it’s quite dark, the lighting helps claustrophobic people. We have this cherry blossom image up on the ceiling and we are able to adjust the colour of the lighting in the room as well. Plus we are able to offer patients whatever music they like because we are able to play Spotify through the headphones.

“We are able to facilitate people going in at different orientations – we can put people in feet first which will help a lot of claustrophobic people.”

Ian MacDonald, Swansea Bay’s Assistant Director of Finance, said: “The investment of just over £3m capital by Welsh Government, has provided a scanner that is now able to benefit our patients. 

“The scanner has been located within a newly modernised fit for purpose scanning room within the radiology suite at Morriston Hospital. The modern suite ensures compliance with the latest building, engineering and radiation protection standards.”

Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth a galwadau ffôn yn y Gymraeg neu'r Saesneg. Atebir gohebiaeth Gymraeg yn y Gymraeg, ac ni fydd hyn yn arwain at oedi. Mae’r dudalen hon ar gael yn Gymraeg drwy bwyso’r botwm ar y dde ar frig y dudalen.

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