REDDITCH'S Alexandra Hospital is set to receive a new CT scanner, following a decision made by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

The radiology team currently works with just one scanner, but with rising demand a second scanner will be welcomed by the department.

The £600,000 investment will see a second machine installed on the site, with plans in place for the equipment to be up and running by April. The development will create four additional jobs and provide an improved service for patients in Redditch and Bromsgrove and surrounding areas.

CT scans are used to create images of the inside of the body and are more detailed than standard X-rays. A scan takes 5-10 minutes and can produce images of internal organs, blood vessels, bones and tumours.

The new CT equipment will be used to scan 120 patients per week and will allow the team to work more efficiently, separating inpatients and outpatients. The second machine will give flexibility to plan appointments and make sure patients receive their scans within national waiting targets.

Both machines at the Alex will offer patients the highest standard of scanning with the lowest dose of radiation possible. More patients will be able to have their scan closer to home.

The development means the hospital l will now be able to carry out CT bowel screening, and barium enemas will be a thing of the past. Barium enemas involve liquid being passed into the bowel before taking an X-ray.

The additional machine also gives more flexibility when the scanners need to be serviced. Regular servicing and maintenance is essential but can put the scanner out of action for a whole day, meaning patients need to travel to Worcester. With two machines this will no longer be necessary, as the other will stay operational.

Emma Land, superintendent radiographer said “Our existing scanner is still one of the most up-to-date scanners available on the market so it’s a real bonus to be able to announce that we’re doubling our capacity. It’s going to be a huge benefit to the local population and our team is excited about the new development.”

Janice Kerr, general manager said “We’re delighted to be investing in CT services at the Alex. With two state-of-the-art scanners available to patients we’ll be able to provide an excellent service and we’re looking forward to the new machine being up and running later this year.”