Expansion of MR and CT imaging at Salford Royal

29 July 2021

Three new, state of the art MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanners and a new CT (Computed Tomography) scanner have been installed at Salford Royal, part of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA).

The multi-million pound project has been funded through a combination of resources and partnerships; the investment comes as part of the NCA’s radiology equipment strategy and serves as a milestone in what promises to be a highly advanced portfolio of diagnostic equipment.

The NCA brings together the Salford Royal and Pennine Acute trusts and runs hospitals and community services in Salford, Oldham, Bury and Rochdale.

A highly specialised 3 Tesla MRI system, owned and run by Salford Royal, has been installed as one of the replacement systems. It will be used for routine diagnosis as well as for cutting edge research into a wide range of diseases. It offers accelerated imaging, greater sensitivity, and access to novel imaging models and sequences. 

The University of Manchester made a significant financial contribution to the scanner as part of its ambition to make Manchester an international centre of neuroscience and mental health research. 

Skilled research radiographers from the University will have 21 hours of protected research time on the scanner every week for a range of research studies and Clinical Trials. This will add to the University’s other clinical MR and PET-MR scanners located across Greater Manchester. 

The arrival of the state-of- the-art scanner will enhance collaborative activity, where significant growth in research in neurosurgery and neuro-oncology, combined with the established track record in stroke research, underpins the newly launched Geoffrey Jefferson Brain Research Centre. 

Having a new, high-performance 3T scanner on the Salford Royal campus will be critical to achieving the organisations’ joint ambition across the clinical neurosciences more broadly, as well as in other key areas of clinical research. 

The scanner became operational in April 2021 and studies that previously used the University’s 3T scanner on site will continue using the facility. A number of new studies and Clinical Trials are also to be launched in ongoing collaborations between the Trust and the University.

Andrew Stallard, the NCA’s Diagnostics and Pharmacy Managing Director of Operations, said: “This is a very exciting time for Radiology at the Northern Care Alliance and progression of the first of many projects which will develop over time to sustain a state of the art diagnostic service for all of our patients, increasing choice and access to cutting edge technology to support rapid diagnosis and management.”

Daniela Montaldi from The University of Manchester team commented: “This shared imaging resource not only offers us many new opportunities for major collaborative research, but characterises the exciting new research agenda shared by the Trust and University where cutting-edge science can translate seamlessly into clinical use for patient benefit.”

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