TWICE as many patients suffering from diseases such as cancer and coronary heart disease could be diagnosed at Blackburn Royal Infirmary, thanks to a new gamma camera to be unveiled this week.

Hospital bosses from the Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley NHS Trust will unveil the second camera in the nuclear medicine department at the infirmary on Thursday, which means more patients can be treated.

The camera diagnoses patients by detecting a mildly radioactive substance which is injected into the patient.

It many cases, it avoids the need for surgery and is considered low risk for patients.

Dr Robert Barker, clinical director for radiology services, said: "I am delighted that we now have a second gamma camera for the radiology department.

"Nuclear medicine is a developing field and we have seen larger increases in demand for this type of service over recent years."