We are delighted to unveil our new mobile PET-CT unit with an upgraded high spec scanner, based at Swansea’s Singleton Hospital that will see over 2,000 patients scanned each year.
InHealth are proud to have offered PET-CT services at Singleton Hospital for almost 4 years, serving patients on behalf of the NHS living in the Swansea Bay and West Wales area. Professor Neil Hartman, Head of Nuclear Medicine at the Hospital explains that “There was previously no PET-CT scanning capability this side of Cardiff, meaning patients from Swansea Bay and West Wales had to travel to the capital. That was until the mobile scanner, located in a large unit immediately outside the hospital, opened.”
Since opening the unit in July 2020, the service has been very busy, with the PET-CT scanner increasing availability of appointments from two to three days a week.
With patient demand for the service growing at a rapid rate, we recognised the importance of investment in technology, so we are pleased to now provide a modernised and more sophisticated scanner for the unit, with capabilities that are the latest in PET-CT screening technology.
With a strong commitment to fostering an inclusive and positive patient environment, we continue to make changes, such as reasonable adjustments, that improve accessibility and the overall patient experience.
Among the benefits of the upgraded mobile unit, which includes the very latest PET-CT scanner, is a large and open design, supporting patients who may be claustrophobic, with beautiful visual displays in the ceiling.
As well as the scenic photography to help create a calming atmosphere, there are individual patient uptake bays to support privacy and confidentiality, along with a TV in each bay. There are also two lifts for patients with a range of mobilities and for in-patients who need to be brought in by stretcher.
The PET-CT scanner designed by Siemens Healthineers is the latest in PET-CT technology, combining both CT (computed tomography) and PET (positron emission tomography) to deliver high quality screening. When a patient is screened, the CT scan takes X-rays of the body to create a 3D anatomical picture, while the PET scan involves injecting a radioactive drug and then scanning its location within the patient’s body.
From having the radioactive drug injection, any areas where cells are consuming more glucose than normal are highlighted and it can reveal cancer and some other diseases which may not show up on other types of scans.
Its accuracy means it can diagnose cancer, find out how big a cancer is and whether it has spread. It can also show how well a cancer has responded to treatment, whether it has come back, and if so, exactly where it is.
Although predominantly a PET-CT scan is used to detect cancer, it can also identify other diseases which may not show up on other scans such as pyrexia, a persistent fever lasting for more than three weeks with no identified cause, as well as dementia and cardiac conditions.
The service at Singleton is funded by the Welsh Health Specialist Services Committee (WHSSC), which ensures fair access to a full range of specialist services for the population of Wales.
Professor Hartman said the health board had a long-standing and valued relationship with InHealth. “We would not usually expect a scanner to be replaced for seven to 10 years, but we are extremely fortunate that InHealth offered the new version to us to reflect that relationship,” he added.
Looking to the future, the longer-term plans to establish a static PET-CT scanner within the hospital building, which will bring further benefits.
Radiologist Dr. Victoria Trainer and InHealth Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Searle officially open the new PET-CT scanner