THE arrival of two new scanners at Royal Blackburn Hospital will revolutionise patient waiting times, hospital bosses said.

Costing more than £2.4million, the new devices will help to scan an extra 30 patients a day reducing waiting times by the end of July.

Six new members of staff have been employed to operate the equipment seven days a week and are currently being trained.

Health bosses said the number of people being referred for an MRI scan had increased 42 per cent since 2010.

Up until now some patients have been sent to Preston or Beardwood hospitals at a cost to East Lancashire Hospital Trust.

The new MRI scanner will be located in a purpose-built location next to the existing eight-year-old MRI scanner and will be used to scan patients for fractures, muscular skeletal or spinal injuries, brain problems and cancer.

MRI scanners are also capable of creating 3D images of the body, but hospital bosses say this is rarely used as it is unnecessary in diagnostic purposes.

The new machine also has a wider bore which means there is more space between the patient and the scanner, making it more comfortable for obese and claustrophobic patients.

Hospital bosses also said the new CT scanner will replace the old system and will assist radiologists to look at the functions of organs rather than the anatomy.

Existing staff will be trained on how to use the latest technology funded by the Trust’s multi-million pound capital investment programme.

David O’Brien, directorate manager for radiology said: “Installation of these new systems is a major development for the Trust in improving productivity, efficiency and capacity. It also supports greater choice for our patients in terms of the location of their test.

“We currently undertake around 20,000 MRI examinations and 10,000 Nuclear Medicine examinations every year and this is growing. It is important that we have up-to-date and technologically advanced equipment.”

Similar investment in radiology equipment on the Burnley General Hospital site has also seen a recent upgrade.