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Hospital welcomes installation of new state-of-the-art CT scanner

Mike Alexander, Principal Clinical Investigator Stephanie Cockerill, Superintendent Pretreatment Radiographer, and Mercia Edwards, Lead Pretreatment Radiographer with the new CT scanner

The Lingen Davies Cancer Fund donated £475,000, which paid for a radiation therapy scanner – one of the first of its kind in the country – and an injection pump, for the Lingen Davies Centre.

Louise Killey, Manager of Radiotherapy Services, said: “The staff are delighted to be able to use the scanner. This will be great for our patients as the advanced technology improves the image quality of CT scans – this will allow consultants and dosimetrists to easily bypass treatment areas and improve our planning efficiency. We want to give our patients the best treatment possible. »

A core team from the radiotherapy and medical physics departments at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs the two acute hospitals in Shropshire, started the CT scanner project, but it was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19.

Core team members include Kirsten Hughes – Senior Clinical Scientist, Stephanie Cockerill – Superintendent Pretreatment Radiographer, Mark Hardy – Radiation Therapy Physics Manager, Louise Killey – Radiation Services Manager and Mike Alexander – Senior Clinical Scientist .

Once the project restarted, the team evaluated different scanners on the market.

The key things they were looking for included fast and efficient training, customer service, the size of the scanner bore to allow for specialized radiation therapy equipment as well as the patient to be scanned, the quality of the images and the amount of radiation dose.

They then bought a Canon Aquilion Exceed LB.

Major construction work has taken place in the radiotherapy department to accommodate the new radiotherapy scanner in a former treatment room.

Sheila Fryer, Acting Deputy Chief Executive of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said: “The new scanner uses state-of-the-art technology and will allow us to plan the treatment and care of our patients more efficiently and accurately. Thank you to everyone who participated in the project.”

State-of-the-art scanner technology makes it possible to trace a patient’s tumor and normal organs more accurately and more efficiently – and for patients with metallurgy, there are no more “scratches” on the images, which which gives clearer images for planning and negates the need for other imaging such as MRI.

There is also an improved ability to capture a patient’s breathing motion for advanced techniques – all achieved with a lower dose of radiation delivered.

The team said major physical commissioning needed to take place between installation and clinical use of the scanner, because radiation therapy uses images very differently than a diagnostic scanner.

Kirsten Hughes, Principal Clinical Scientist, who was involved in the commissioning work of the CT scanner, said: “There needs to be a thorough test of the CT scanner to make sure everything is as it should be and to make sure it’s gives a good picture. quality while reducing radiation dose to patients.

Louise added: “We would like to say a big thank you to Lingen Davies – without them we wouldn’t be able to have this wonderful scanner and advanced digitization for patients. To Lingen Davies and everyone who raised funds for the association, thank you.

The existing scanner remained operational while all work took place.