Just Relax! New MRI and CT Facilities at Winchester’s RHCH


Posted by Kevin Gover

Posted in News



You cannot deny that it’s been a great year so far at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital. Following on from the new outpatients department, patients at the RHCH are once again able to benefit from world class state-of-the-art MRI and CT scan facilities. Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust opened the new building at the hospital in Winchester – part of a £10m project.

Work to replace the scanners and the building that houses them began in August 2012 after the previous scanner and building were destroyed by fire on Friday 9 December 2011.

Some of the features of the new building include:

· Special glass on doors which goes opaque at the touch of a button to increase privacy and dignity for patients

· Sunlight tunnels, which bring natural light in to the building through tubes in the ceiling

· In the MRI scanning room, there are no corners to the walls, only curves, which combine with ambient lighting to provide a relaxing atmosphere for patients having scans.

Scanning services have been maintained on the Royal Hampshire County Hospital site throughout the duration of the building works, by using temporary scanning vehicles. These have been removed, meaning that more disabled and drop of space is available for the new Outpatient Department which opened in January.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans are used to produce detailed images of the body. The scanner in the Royal Hampshire County Hospital unit is a Phillips Ingenia 1.5T. MRI scanners use strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body. This is the latest wide bore scanner with improved technical features.

The new building also contains a new Discovery CT750HD CT scanner. CT (computerised tomography) scanners use X-rays to produce images of the inside of the patient’s body which are more detailed than standard X-rays. The CT scanner consists of an X-ray tube that rotates around the patient. The dosage is so low in this state of the art technology that it is the equivalent of an x-ray, which is better for patients.

Hampshire Hospitals Chief Operating Officer Donna Green says they are delighted to have been able to make the investment: “The new building not only contains the latest, state of the art scanning equipment but also is a light, welcoming and relaxing environment for people who may be anxious about attending for a scan. We even ran a photographic competition among the staff to choose the local images to be displayed within the unit. In the future, and in common with our new Outpatient Department at Royal Hampshire County Hospital, we plan to provide self check in kiosks to make it easier for patients to book in when they arrive.”

Between fifty and sixty patients per day use either MRI or CT scanning at Royal Hampshire County Hospital. Referrals come from within the hospital or from a patient’s GP and there is also a 24-hour-a-day scanning service.

Photo: Chief Operating Officer Donna Green is shown around the new facility by MRI/CT Lead Steve Ross. (Jane Gordon HHFT)