03 July 2018
Radiology is the technique used to take images of internal form and has a central role in tackling cancer, disease and illness. The number of radiology examinations carried out in England has risen 42% in the last 10 years and the biggest percentage increase is in MRI and CT scans.
Hospitals are reporting a surge in the number of people waiting for the results of their X-rays or MRI scans and the Care Quality Commission is currently carrying out a national review into the backlog of unreported scans. This follows concerns about failures to report results and the amount of ‘auto-reported’ results whereby scans are sent directly to clinicians without being reviewed by a radiologist.
Lead radiographer at Spire St Anthony’s Hospital, Geraint Evans explains more:
“It is vital diagnostic scans are carried out and reported promptly to ensure there are no delays in potential diagnosis. At Spire St Anthony’s there is no doubt, we are witnessing more people willing to pay for diagnostic imaging services and get their scans or X-rays performed and reported faster.”
Five tips on how to have your scans or X-rays at Spire St Anthony’s Hospital:
- Same day appointments - The team at Spire St Anthony’s offers same or next day appointments for general requests. If the examination is a speciality of a particular radiologist, it may take a little longer.
- Results - All scans are interpreted by a consultant radiologist and results made available within 24 hours. Results are sent to the referrer so the patient can be counselled on the contents. We do not use any ‘auto-reporting’ systems, and only have consultant level radiologists reporting the scans.
- How to fund the scans – People can pay for their scans as and when they require them and then return to the NHS for the remainder of their treatment or continue at Spire St Anthony’s. However we recommend patients advise their NHS doctor first.
- How to access private imaging services - To have an ultrasound, MRI scan or X-ray privately, patients simply need a signed letter or request form from their referring GP or consultant. For a CT scan you will usually need to see a consultant first.
- Access to specialised radiologists – At Spire St Anthony’s Hospital we employ the services of around 20 radiologists, ranging from general reporting radiologists to highly specialised interventional radiologists.
What to expect if you, or your child, are having a scan
People are often daunted by the prospect of a visit to hospital let alone having to undergo a scan. Radiographer Geraint Evans takes us through the some of the types of scans you may be referred for:
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the human body. The scan is painless and safe. Most scans take around 20 mins but complex scans can take longer.
The scanner is noisy, so we offer headphones so patients can listen to their favourite music or they can watch a movie on a screen whilst in the scanner.
Our MRI scanner is open at both ends and is light and airy. The radiographer operates it from an adjoining room but you can see them through the glass. An intercom means patients can communicate throughout the procedure should they need to.
Ultrasound scans are performed at Spire St Anthony’s by consultant radiologists. The equipment used is the same as that used for scanning in pregnancy, and again is painless and safe.
CT scans are similar to MRI, where you travel on a bed through a doughnut shaped scanner. This scan uses radiation, so is usually only referred to after seeing a specialist consultant. It usually takes about 15-30 minutes.
Need a MRI scan urgently? Our prices start at £395. To find out more, please call 020 8335 4550.
For all other types of scan please call 020 8335 4546.