tens of thousands of NHS patients will benefit from a state-of-the-art X-ray and ultrasound treatment centre which opened yesterday in the region.
A total of £850,000 has been spent on the transformation of the radiology unit at St James’s Hospital in Leeds in a move which brings together services in the Chancellor’s Wing next to the hospital’s A&E depart- ment.
Around 150,000 X-ray and ultrasound examinations take place at St James’s each year, with the department operating round the clock every day.
Jane Bewell, principal superintendent radiographer, said feedback from patients was used as part of planning for the changes.
“This has been a huge project designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of staff, use our buildings more effectively and deliver better patient care,” she said.
“All three of the previous facilities were old and in need of repair and modernisation and the X-ray equipment in there was ageing.
“Re-designing the department as an integrated unit has allowed us to address this and bring in new state-of-the-art machines for our patients.”
The department has a new entrance with a direct feed into A&E, making it easier for patients to access directly.
A large central shared inpatient waiting area has been created, with further outpatient waiting areas outside the X-ray and ultrasound examination rooms.
Equipment installed in the facility includes two new X-ray rooms with cutting-edge wireless digital X-ray units which enables images to be viewed almost instantaneously across hospital sites in Leeds.
Managers say the wireless digital rooms offer versatility and speed and are more comfortable for immobile patients on trolleys.
A new smaller lighter ultrasound machine has also been purchased for performing examinations rapidly on patients in the wards who are unable to come to the department.