PATIENTS at a hospitals trust will be the first in England to benefit from new ultrasound equipment.

The latest ultrasound systems from Siemens Healthineers are now in use at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

There are three in the main X-ray department and one in the hospital’s vascular laboratory.

Moira Rawcliffe, radiology directorate manager at East Lancashire Hospitals Trust (ELHT), said: “Like many hospitals today, ELHT is working hard to meet the demands of an increasing workload.

“As with many centres, we have seen an increase in demand for imaging.

“We need advanced ultrasound capabilities to provide more appropriate imaging for our patients – the latest equipment which means patients do not need to return for further imaging.

“All our radiology staff are impressed with the quality of the images, the ease of use and the new technologies available.

“The contrast and fusion features on the systems allow us to perform biopsies on lesions that would normally require CT, allowing us to free-up time on our CT scanners.”

The trust said the ultrasound systems aim to improve patient flow,waiting times and repeat scans and will provide more appropriate imaging for patients.

It will mean patients do not need to return for further imaging.