Cutting edge CT scanner comes to Edinburgh

Edinburgh is at the forefront of diagnostic scanner technology with the announcement of a state of the art CT scanner for The University of Edinburgh's Queen's Medical Research Institute.

RBS has announced that it will be investing almost £4million to support the acquisition of a state of the art scanner for The University of Edinburgh's Queen's Medical Research Institute and NHS Lothian.

A CT Scanner

The scanner will provide an additional 4000 patient scans a year to the current NHS provision, assist with cutting edge research and give patients access to one of the world's most advanced diagnostic facilities.

It will also accelerate the ability of the University to conduct research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of a range of heart and cancer illnesses. This will make a significant contribution to Scotland's fight against heart and cancer related deaths.

QMRI will be the first institute in the UK, and one of the first in Europe, to take delivery of this type of scanner which will be a resource above and beyond what is already financed by the NHS or the University.

The scanner will be based at the Clinical Research Imaging Centre, which is being established at the University of Edinburgh in partnership with NHS Lothian, and will be operational by January 2009. The Toshiba scanner, which has taken ten years and an investment of £250million to develop, is a major step change in the field of CT scanning technology.

Unlike previous scanners it can capture entire organs such as the heart or brain in a fraction of a second. Given the novel method of image capture, radiation exposure is reduced by approximately 80% compared with conventional CT scans. This will have a significant impact on the way CT scanning is used to assist in the diagnosis of serious health conditions.

In a unique partnership, RBS will fund the acquisition and contribute to the ongoing operating costs with 25% of the scanner's capacity being made available to RBS staff. The remaining 75% will be split between QMRI and NHS Lothian.

Professor David Newby, Director of the QMRI's Clinical Research Imaging Centre said: "The potential of new imaging technologies lies not only in replacing more intrusive tests but also in helping us to better understand and treat conditions such as heart disease, cancer and strokes. The scanner, as part of an integrated approach encompassing a range of equipment, will enable the Clinical Research Imaging Centre to carry out cutting edge research with the ultimate aim of improving treatment for patients."

Charles Swainson, NHS Lothian medical director, said: "We are delighted that this partnership will result in such an advanced scanner being available to NHS patients in Lothian. It is excellent news for the region as it will allow our clinicians to diagnose life-threatening illnesses within a matter of minutes and will also pave the way for quicker treatment. Another major advantage is that the extra scanning capacity it provides will free up time for other patients to benefit from our existing diagnostic facilities. In the longer term we also hope that the new scanner could open doors to entirely new clinical applications."

Allan Watt, Group Head of Brand Communications said: "We are delighted that in partnership with NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh we have been able to bring this state of the art scanner to Scotland. As well as supporting the UK's reputation for medical research and bringing additional diagnostic support to Scotland, it will allow RBS to extend its current health screening options to staff."