Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has officially reopened their nuclear medicine department, part of the radiology service at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, complete with a brand new SPECT CT Scanner.

The new scanner, which will enable the hospital team to diagnose patients faster and removes the need for multiple scans to take place, was purchased with help from the Hampshire Medical Fund and the Hampshire Hospital Charity. With support from these charities, patients in mid and north Hampshire will have access to the best possible standards of care, without needing to travel.

The department had previously been part of the hospital’s footprint, but has been closed for the renovations to take place. After getting the department up and running again in July, an official opening was held at the end of August.

Divisional planning and development lead Christine Saunders has said the new department is “self-sufficient” and includes a waiting room, scan room, and small laboratory used for preparing injections. Fully renovated, the nuclear medicine department has a new single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scanner, which provides more detail and a faster diagnosis for patients, and removes the need for patients to undergo further scans.

Nuclear medicine involves the injection of a small amount of a radioactive substance which has been attached to a marker that directs to a specific part of the body. The patient then emits small amounts of radiation which can be detected by using a gamma camera, which can indicate the presence of various diseases, including infection and cancer.

Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals, said: “Our renewed nuclear medicine department is an excellent facility for our patients, and it’s fantastic to see this new equipment in place - helping us to provide the best possible care to our patients." 

“I want to thank all of our teams who have worked incredibly hard to enable this project to succeed. I would also like to thank all those who have given to the Hampshire Medical Fund and the Hampshire Hospitals Charity for their support in funding the specialist equipment - we could not have done this without the amazing support of our community.”

William Magill, chairman of the Hampshire Medical Fund, said: "When Henry Carnarvon founded the original North Hampshire Medical Fund in 1981, his vision was to keep Basingstoke at the forefront of medical technology and advancement. The Hampshire Medical Fund strives to continue that legacy and also to extend this vision to the hospitals of Winchester and Andover." 

“The addition of the SPECT-CT scanner to the Hampshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust's portfolio of innovation serves this purpose very forcefully, and would make the late Earl very proud."

For a virtual tour of the new department, visit http://bit.ly/hhft-new-scanner-071020