Friarage Hospital’s imaging department has undergone a £3milllion revamp as part of a national programme to provide clinical diagnostic services closer to patients’ homes.
The radiology department now boasts two CT scanners including a new state-of-the-art £900,000 machine – which means more than 100 extra patients can be scanned at the Northallerton hospital each week.
The 15-month project has seen the old radiology block undergo a £2.4million transformation into a modern hospital department, creating a spoke site for the Tees Valley Clinical Diagnostic Centre programme which also includes a town centre hub in Stockton and spoke sites at Hartlepool and Redcar.
Delivered by the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) in collaboration with North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Friarage spoke site is now fully complete, giving patients faster access to diagnostic tests closer to home.
Patients can now benefit from two CT scanner rooms and supporting viewing rooms, a new cannulation room, two new ultrasound rooms and a new dental scan room as well as new changing facilities and an accessible toilet.
The new and upgraded machines will enable more heart patients to undergo scans at the Friarage instead of travelling to James Cook.
Kelly Smith, head of radiology at South Tees said: “This is fantastic news for our patients across Hambleton, Richmondshire and beyond who will benefit from faster imaging and access to more diagnostic appointments closer to home.
“The new scanner is the highest specification scanner we have got across the whole department and it’s great to see it benefitting our Friarage patients.
“It also helps us free up capacity at The James Cook University Hospital so our team there can focus on the most seriously ill patients such as those who have suffered major trauma.
“I just want to say a huge thank you to our amazing radiology staff who have had to endure a lot of disruption to make this a reality – including several room moves and a period of providing appointments from a mobile scanner in the car park! But it has all been worth it as we now have this fantastic new facility which we are all really proud of.”
The spoke imaging site is just one of a series of exciting developments taking place at the Friarage which also launched its £5million endoscopy and urology diagnostic centre last year and is set to open a brand new £35million surgical hub in 2025.
David Gallagher, executive area director with the North East and North Cumbria ICB said: “Improved access to modern diagnostic services is a key part of our commitment to reduce waiting times and improve the experience patients have.
“The additional scanning capacity that this new scanner gives and the ability to provide more complex scanning closer to home is a key part of improving services across Teesside and North Yorkshire.”