Fairfield General Hospital to invest in new MRI scanner

Khalil Kawafi
Fairfield General Hospital to invest in new MRI scanner
09 October 2015

A NEW Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner will be purchased for Fairfield General Hospital meaning Bury patients will no longer have to travel to Rochdale to be scanned.

The Board of Directors for The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust which manages Fairfield General Hospital in Bury along with The Royal Oldham Hospital, North Manchester General Hospital, Rochdale Infirmary and community services, has now approved the business case and capital investment for the new scanner.

The investment decision was made at the Trust’s September public Trust Board meeting on 24 September 2015.

This will increase capacity at the Trust to four MRI scanners, one at each hospital. The provision of an onsite MRI scanner in Bury will improve access for patients, in particular those having suffered an acute stroke and will prevent unnecessary transfer to Rochdale Infirmary to access a mobile unit.

MRI scans help to identify the full extent of tissue damage following a stroke.Investment in a new MRI scanner supports the Trust’s strategy for providing dedicated specialist stroke services at Fairfield General Hospital.  

Building work is scheduled to start in December 2015 and will run to March 2016. The scanner is expected to be operational and ready to go live in April next year. The new scanner will cost £1.2 million and the total capital costs of the project will be around £2 million.

Dr Khalil Kawafi, Consultant Physician at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and based at Fairfield General Hospital (pictured), said:

“A new MRI scanner is an essential piece of equipment for any successful stroke unit and this investment will allow us to make a quicker stroke diagnosis. It will also help us in diagnosing and managing stroke mimics. This will reduce the anxiety that patients feel waiting for a diagnosis to be made and it will reduce unnecessary ambulance journeys to Rochdale and overall cut length of stay for patients. This investment will ensure that stroke patient care will be enhanced and streamlined.

“The Trust is also an active recruiter to national and international research trials and having an MRI scanner on site at Fairfield General Hospital will allow us to increase our portfolio of research studies.

“An MRI scan is the gold standard for investigating transient ischaemic attack (TIA) patients. The Trust has around 15 TIA clinics a week and six of these are at Fairfield General Hospital, so having an MRI scanner on site will ensure we are able to offer rapid access to MR scanning. This will ensure a speedy and accurate diagnosis and reduce the unnecessary worry and anxiety patients can experience when waiting for the investigation.”

Pictured: Dr Khalil Kawafi, Consultant Physician at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust