MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Scanning at Spire Washington Hospital

The worst part about being ill or injured is not knowing what’s wrong and how quickly you’ll be able to return to the activities you enjoy. At Spire Washington Hospital we can provide rapid access to state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging for all patients whether privately insured or self-funding. 

Speedy results from
sophisticated scanning
at Spire Washington Hospital. Contact us on 0191 418 8629


We’ve all heard the phrase MRI. But how many of us would know what it would mean if you’re told by your GP that you need to go for an MRI scan? Here are some commonly asked questions about MRI:

What is an MRI scan?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) combines a powerful magnet with sophisticated computer to produce pictures of any part of the body without the need for X-rays.

An MRI scan enables very clear pictures to be made of the soft tissue structures, such as the brain, spinal cord and internal organs. The detail in these pictures is so good that the scanner can even see small abnormalities. This accuracy helps in the detection of disease and injury, allowing effective treatment to start as soon as possible.

MRI scans are used to give detailed information about bones and joints, the head and neck, and nearly every organ in the body, including blood vessels. The information is collected electronically over a short period of time, then translated into a series of images on a computer screen. These images can be made available to a specialist who can study them closely and report the findings to your GP or consultant.

What does your MRI examination involve? 

You will be asked to lie on a comfortable couch and be moved into position for your scan.  It is important for you to relax and lie still.  The scan will normally take about 30 minutes, however more complex scans may take up to one hour.  You will hear noises from the scanner and feel slight vibrations throughout the examination, both of which are quite normal and nothing to worry about. You will have the opportunity to listen to music during your scan and the radiographer will keep in contact with you throughout the examination.

What preparation will be required?

Unless you are told otherwise, no special preparation is needed for an MRI scan and patients may continue to eat and drink as normal and take prescribed medicines. To avoid any injury to yourself, or damage to your belongings, you will be asked to remove any metallic objects such as your watch, any loose change, keys, credit cards, jewellery, mobile phone, spectacles, metallic dentures and hearing aids.

Am I suitable for an MRI scan?

Please contact us before your scan if you have:

  • a heart pacemaker
  • surgical clips within your head
  • metallic heart valves
  • inner ear impalnts
  • metal fragments within your head or eye
  • neuro electrical stimulators
  • body piercings
  • had joint replacement surgery
  • ever been a metal worker
  • an intrauterine such as Copper-7 IUD
  • permanent eye liner (tattoo)
  • had a gunshot wound
  • or if you may be or are pregnant, or breastfeeding

Any metallic substance on your body can affect the quality of the diagnostic images. We need to know this for your own safety as it could cause discomfort or injury when you are placed in the magnetic field. In addition it could exclude you from the examination.

If you have ever had an accident where metal fragments may ahve entered into your eye or surrounding areas you must inform the MRI staff before your appointment date. This will enable us to determine your suitability for a scan.

What does an MRI scan cost?

Costs will depend on your specific requirements. Contact us today on 0191 418 8629 to find out more.

Appointments and Enquires

To arrange an appointment you will need a referral from your GP or consultant. For all enquiries, or to make an appointment, call 0191 418 8629 or email us at

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Contact our MRI scans0191 418 8629

Spire Washington's Radiologists:

Click on each name to view their personal profile

Dr Daniel Birchall

Dr George Buena

Dr Julie Cox

Dr Geoff Hide

Dr Stuart N E Marsden

Dr Ian Minty

Dr Alan Redman

Dr Jonathan Spratt

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)