NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter has been turned into a community diagnostic centre (CDC), to help tackle the backlog across Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Utilising a share of £11.3 million funding awarded by the National Accelerator Systems Programme in May 2021, the clinically-led redesign turned the hospital into a CDC offering orthopaedic, ophthalmology, diagnostic and rheumatology services.
The transformation of the hospital included investment in the latest medical imaging and diagnostics technology. The ultrasound department went from one ultrasound room equipped with a scanner to four outpatient scanning suites, three for general ultrasound and one combined for MSK ultrasound. Each is installed with ultrasound imaging equipment from Canon Medical Systems UK.
The Aplio i800 Prism Edition systems provide a high level of detail for precision scanning in general, and particularly for gynaecological and MSK examinations. The equipment is installed with advanced applications including contrast-enhanced ultrasound, shear wave elastography and superb micro- vascular imaging, which offers a level of vascular visualisation that can aid diagnostic confidence when evaluating lesions, cysts and tumours.
Principal sonographer Jane Baker commented: “Our long-standing relationship with Canon has enabled the hospital to implement a framework for continuous improvement, through which the ultrasound team can effectively identify where efficiencies can be made for better patient care and staff working practices. We have already seen improved productivity, with faster examinations and more accurate diagnoses due to superb image quality.
“Patient feedback has also been positive, with the speed of referral from the GP to an appointment being recognised by patients as quick and efficient.”
See the full report on page 28 of the January 2024 issue of RAD Magazine.