Mayor of Bury opens new £2m MRI unit at Fairfield General Hospital

MRI Fairfield Opening
Mayor of Bury opens new £2m MRI unit at Fairfield General Hospital
18 January 2017

A NEW magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury has been officially opened by His Worshipful the Mayor and Consort of the Metropolitan Borough of Bury, Councillor Mike Connolly and Mr Ian Hargreaves.

The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Fairfield, has invested over £2.2m on the new scanner and subsequent building work to house it.

The unit contains a new state-of-the-art MR scanner which will provide images for around 6,000 patients a year. Housed in a brand new unit which is accessed via the radiology department at the front of the hospital, the new equipment scanned its first patient in mid-December.

Boasting the first ‘wide bore’ MR scanner at the Trust, this will mean that it will ensure better scanning for claustrophobic and bariatric patients as the diameter hole of the scanner is 10cms wider than traditional ones.  Patients requiring this kind of service had to previously be scanned at hospitals outside of the Trust.

The new installation also means that Bury residents will no longer have to travel to Rochdale Infirmary to be scanned.  It will be used for all Pennine Acute Trust inpatients and outpatients, and Bury GP patients.


Investment in the new scanner supports the Trust’s strategy for providing dedicated specialist stroke services at Fairfield General Hospital as it will allow clinicians to make a quicker stroke diagnosis.

The Mayor and Consort were joined by Pennine Acute Trust chief executive Sir David Dalton and chairman Jim Potter as they undertook the official unveiling of a commemorative plaque to open the unit and then enjoyed a full tour of the facilities open to patients.

Trust chief executive, Sir David Dalton, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Mayor and his Consort to help us officially open the new MRI unit at Fairfield General Hospital.  The unit is impressive and will provide a vital service for Bury residents needing an MR scan at their local hospital. This is an important investment to strengthen services and great news for staff and patients on the Fairfield site where a whole range of patients with different conditions will benefit in their diagnosis, care and treatment.”

Andrew Green, (MR Service Manager), said: “The new scanner will provide vital state-of-the-art imaging for our patients in a new attractive environment.  The scanner is shorter and wider than other scanners and utilises mood lighting, ceiling picture panels and music to put patients at their ease and increase comfort.

“Staff will be trained to use the latest technology and software to provide the very best image quality whilst reducing scan times and increasing patient tolerance.  We will scan a wide range of patients ranging from neurology, stroke, musculoskeletal, angiograms and oncology patients.  Looking to the future, there will also be the provision for cardiac imaging.”

Paul Barker, senior directorate manager, radiology and neurophysiology, said: “This is a fantastic new addition to our imaging service.  It will make the MRI experience for patients a much more positive one, especially for those who suffer from claustrophobia.  It’s great that the Trust has invested in the latest technology to facilitate a quick and accurate diagnosis.”

Magnetic resonance (MR) scanning works by creating very strong magnetic fields and radio frequency waves to produce incredibly detailed images of inside the body without the use of ionising radiation or invasive procedures. The new scanner is a Siemens Magnetom Aera.