New relocatable CT scanning units delivered to UK hospitals to deal with backlog of radiology patients

Canon Medical Systems UK delivers new mobile units to 15 hospitals

Canon has launched a relocatable CT scanning facility which can provide temporary additional space to help deal with the backlog of patients due to the coronavirus pandemic

With the COVID-19 outbreak leaving hospitals with long waiting lists for non-pandemic-related conditions, the battle is on to deal with the backlog.

And Canon Medical has announced it is helping with this effort with the rollout of 15 relocatable CT scanners to NHS trusts across the country.

The mobile facilities, which are equipped with Aquilion Prime SP, Aquilion Lighting SP, or the top-of-the-range Aquilion One Genesis CT scanners as well as a control room and changing/storage areas, can work outside the normal healthcare environment, for example in hospital car parks or newly-created field hospitals.

And they will enable the NHS to tackle the routine imaging diagnostics in the areas of cancer and heart disease that were put on hold during the initial response stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In particular, they will provide a clinically-safe environment to meet increasing imaging capacity demands and to keep highly-infectious patients separate from normal routine CT examinations.

With the added considerable impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the trust’s capacity to perform many diagnostic procedures, the implementation of the CT scanner is significant in ensuring our patients are seen and treated as soon as possible

Each module can be easily transported to locations by road and they are designed with the correct clinical flooring, hospital-grade heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) requirements plus datalink connectivity.

And all CT scanners inside the CT Scan Units feature InnerVision, a remote diagnostics software that can predict, diagnose or fix system issues without the need for engineers to visit sites.

“For many years, we have worked closely with UK customers in flexing-up imaging requirements during winter pressures, emergency incidents, or building works, by providing our best-of-breed CT scanners in mobile trailers or relocatable units,” explains Mark Hitchman, managing director at Canon Medical Systems UK.

“We put that imaging versatility into rapid and scaled-up production to meet the needs of frontline UK radiology teams following the initial response stages to the COVID-19 crisis.

“As medical technology innovators, it is our duty to react quickly and be there to support the needs of our NHS at this unprecedented time.”

One of the 15 units has already been installed by South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, which has estimated that an extra 62 hours of CT scanning time is required per week to meet the backlog of patients.

The facility has been installed at Stratford Hospital, with the cost being met by NHS England and NHS Improvement’s COVID-19 Recovery Fund.

It will remain in place for 18 months.

One of the units has been installed at South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust's Stratford Hospital

Helen Lancaster, director of operations at the trust, said: “Year-on-year demand for CT scans has grown significantly and is unlikely to decrease given the changes required in cancer pathways and diagnostic techniques.

As medical technology innovators, it is our duty to react quickly and be there to support the needs of our NHS at this unprecedented time

“With the added considerable impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the trust’s capacity to perform many diagnostic procedures, the implementation of the CT scanner at Stratford Hospital is significant in ensuring our patients are seen and treated as soon as possible.”

Bradford Royal Infirmary has also recently taken delivery of one of the units.

Located in the carpark between A&E and radiology, it will enable the trust to keep ‘Green’ patients (without suspected COVID-19) separate from Red (suspected COVID-19 patients), mirroring the cohorting on the wards.

Mark Kon, consultant thoracic radiologist and clinical director of radiology, said: “Although our teams of radiographers were divided into red and green at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, they shared a common CT control room. Having an entirely-separate scan facility means there is much less risk of cross infection.”

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