A HOSPITAL has become the first in the UK to install the latest CT scanning technology.

The scanner was installed at the Royal Blackburn Hospital last month, and is capable of recording 80 views, or ‘slices’, of the human body in a single scan rotation.

This means that patients across the region requiring potentially life-changing investigations can benefit from the new, state-of-the-art machinery instead of having to visit an alternative hospital.

Consultant radiologist, Dr Tom Newton said: “Our new CT scanner can scan the entire body really quickly.

“In technical terms, the image quality is excellent and the 80-slice capability with fast image reconstruction means a full body scan can take as little as 15 seconds.”

The Aquilion Lighting SP, which was made in Japan by Canon, supports all the latest CT technological advances that are currently available.

It can also perform all CT scanning work that patients would expect to find in a modern NHS hospital, including biopsy examinations.

Before the installation, Royal Blackburn Hospital had just three MRI scanners but the introduction of this new machine means more patients can be scanned as the scan time is a lot shorter.

Radiology Directorate Manager, Moira Rawcliffe, said: “Demand for imaging has increased significantly in recent years, by over 40 per cent since 2013.

“Twenty-five years ago we had a single CT scanner.

“Today, with the addition of the Canon Aquilion Lightning, we have four, plus three MRI scanners to meet demand and reduce waiting times for patients.”

The introduction of the new machine gives radiographers the ability to do a wider variety of scans using less contrast and radiation dose, which is beneficial for patients.

Dr Newton added: “Having four CT scanners with different capabilities gives us much more flexibility and is more good news for our patients.”

East Lancashire Hospitals chief executives officially opened the Aquilion Lightning SP last week.

At the same time, the CT scanning department was upgraded offering patients a brighter, spacious and more relaxed feel to the place.