Hospital bosses in South Tyneside have invested £200,000 in cutting edge ultrasound technology with the aim of improving patient care.
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust is one of the first in the country to have bought the latest ultrasound machines, which are smaller and more manoeuvrable than the older models, making it easier for staff to operate them.
Their purchase brings investment this year in radiology services at South Tyneside District Hospital to around £1.7m.
The four new machines are being used throughout the hospital, including radiology, the Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) and the ante-natal department.
One is a mobile unit which can be taken to the patient - preventing the need to move more seriously ill people around he hospital.
In the radiology department, it is used by doctors to help guide certain procedures - such as inserting catheters.
Two machines used in the ante-natal department monitor unborn babies and aid in the detection of abnormalities.
The fourth machine is in the radiology department where it is used for investigating undiagnosed ‘lumps and bumps’, which cause many patients anxiety and distress, and for musculoskeletal conditions, which affect the joints, bones and muscles.
Lead consultant for Radiology Dr Richard Cooper said: “It is important that we take advantage of ever-improving technology for the benefit of our patients and our new ultrasound machines provide us with images of superb quality.
“They are extremely sensitive and allow us to see parts of the body in fine detail. These very detailed scans can help us to arrive at a reliable diagnosis more quickly.”
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust medical director Dr Shaz Wahid said: “Our investment in radiology services at South Tyneside District Hospital this year is around £1.7m.
“In addition to the new ultrasound machines, we will begin installing a new £1.5m MRI scanner in the autumn, which will be brought into operation this coming winter.
“This is all part of our commitment to not only improving the quality of our existing services but continuing to provide safe, high quality, sustainable hospital services in South Tyneside in the future.”
In the past year, the Trust has opened Haven Court, a £9m centre of excellence for integrated health and social care for older people in South Tyneside, and a £1.4m Surgical Centre.