New CT scanner officially opened by Sally Gunnell OBE DL

Monday April 29, 2019

A new CT scanner at Worthing Hospital was officially opened on Thursday 25 April by former Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth track and field champion Sally Gunnell OBE DL.

The new Canon Aquillion Prime SP CT scanner provides enhanced imaging to improve diagnostic results for A&E patients, ward patients and the early detection of cancers.

Sally Gunnell said: “It is a huge honour to officially open the new CT scanner and to see first-hand the quality of the whole Radiology Department.

“It’s also great to experience how happy and friendly everyone is, and to know that the hospital has the latest technology and is doing the best for everybody, which is brilliant.”

The £600,000 investment on a new CT scanner and improved facilities for patients marks the completion of a multi-million pound redevelopment and expansion of the hospital’s entire Radiology Department.

In recent years, this has included a £1m MRI upgrade; £1m digital transformation and expansion of X-ray facilities; and a £1.8m development of an interventional radiology suite.

99% of patients wait less than six weeks

The improvements began in 2014, when £1.6m (including £800,000 from the Friends of Worthing Hospital) was invested to provide a second CT scanner for the hospital – a top-of-the-range Canon Aquillion PRIME.

Chief executive of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation, Dame Marianne Griffiths, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be able to invest in such high quality equipment for our patients and staff.

“Our radiology teams work exceptionally hard, providing a 24/7 CT scanning and X-ray service, as well as MRI scans for patients, 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Their expert skills and knowledge are absolutely invaluable, helping to ensure diagnoses for our patients are made both as swiftly and accurately as possible.”

Diagnostic teams at Western Sussex Hospitals, rated “Outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission, consistently deliver their NHS constitutional target, which means more than 99% of patients wait less than six weeks for a booked test.

Last year, the radiology team performed more than 27,000 MRI scans – an increase of 3.5% on the year before – as well as 70,000 CT scans, up nearly 9% from 2017/18.

However, as demand continues to rise with a shortage of qualified staff available to work in the UK, recruitment to Radiology Departments is challenging for many hospitals.

Radiology manager at Western Sussex Hospitals, Carrie Davidson, said: “We have made excellent progress expanding our team in recent years, with the quality of our facilities, our trust’s reputation for quality improvement, and the friendliness of our hospitals all helping to attract the best people.

“We now have a team of 24 consultant radiologists and we continue to advertise for more radiologists, radiographers and sonographers to join us, and enjoy life living along the beautiful West Sussex coast near our hospitals in Chichester, Worthing and Shoreham-by-Sea.”

Western Sussex Hospitals is now exploring options to improve and expand its radiology services at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester.

To find out more about career opportunities in Radiology at Western Sussex Hospitals, please contact Radiology Manager, Carrie Davidson, by emailing caroline.davidson@wsht.nhs.uk.

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