A former Olympic star has unveiled a new state-of-the-art hospital MRI scanner.
Former Olympic medallist and World Champion middle distance runner, Steve Cram, was on hand to help Alliance Medical and the University Hospital of North Tees to launch the new equipment.
The Jarrow Arrow, who won gold medals at the 1982 and 1986 Commonwealth Games as well as a silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games, visited the hospital to cut the ribbon on the advanced 3T MRI scanner, which will be used by patients from Hartlepool and East Durham.
The new MRI scanner, part of a £1.6m investment by Alliance Medical, will help to improve the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and reduce waiting times for patients.
The equipment will enable clinicians to take high resolution images of body parts, organs, and soft tissues, allowing for swifter and more accurate diagnosis.
The advanced scanning technology will increase the hospital’s capacity for complex and routine MRI scanning and reduce the time patients wait for scans.
This new equipment will mean that patients can be seen more quicklyDr Matthew Trewhella
The size and design of the new MRI scanner will improve patient comfort, reduce claustrophobia and accommodate a large variety of body shapes, sizes and clinical conditions.
The new MRI scanner replaces the existing scanner at the hospital; it has been in operation since March 30.
David Loasby, business development director of Alliance Medical, said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and help them to deliver further improvements in diagnostic imaging capabilities at University Hospital of North Tees.
“The new scanner will provide high quality images and will enable the hospital to extend the range of examinations it can offer, helping to meet local demand and reduce waiting times for vital scans.”
Dr Matthew Trewhella, clinical director for radiology at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to have Steve join us to officially open our new MRI scanner.
“This new equipment will mean that patients can be seen more quickly and the hospital can provide a wider range of MRI imaging to ensure the best levels of diagnosis and treatments for our patients.
“The ability to perform cardiac examinations is particularly beneficial and will allow more patients across Teesside to access the scans they need locally.”