MRI scanner should be up and running by autumn 2023

NHS Shetland said it has begun the tendering process for an MRI scanner and facilities – marking another milestone in the project.

The health board said the project had been hit by “inevitable delays” of around six to nine months, due to the pandemic.

Work will be undertaken this year to prepare the Gilbert Bain Hospital for the scanner, including the “demolition of some older buildings to make space” for the equipment.

It is hoped the scanner will be operational by autumn 2023.

Director of nursing Kathleen Carolan said they were really pleased to reach the stage of tendering to purchase the scanner.

“Our clinical and technical teams have worked really hard to keep the project on track during 2021, but there have been some inevitable delays due to the impact of the pandemic, particularly on the supply of complex medical equipment which is a global issue and has added six to nine months to the timescales in which we hoped to have the MRI scanner in place.

“In order to bring MRI services to Shetland as soon as we can, we are working with the Scottish government to look at how we can access a more limited mobile MRI scanning service until our permanent MRI scanner is in place.

“Not only will this allow some people to access MRI scans locally, but it also means that our radiography staff will be able to run the service and help train and maintain skills in the meantime.”

Over £1.4 million has been raised for the scanner, and Shetland Endowment Committee chairman Lincoln Carroll thanked the community for their fundraising efforts.

“It is a truly remarkable community fundraising effort and will make an enormous difference to the lives of so many people,” he said.

“The benefit to all of the Shetland community cannot be underestimated.”


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