Search

Speedy way to x-rays

PUBLISHED: 10:22 27 January 2009 | UPDATED: 10:52 12 July 2010

Patients in a rural community are receiving faster x-ray services closer to home thanks to an innovative new partnership between West Suffolk Hospital and the village health centre.

Patients in a rural community are receiving faster x-ray services closer to home thanks to an innovative new partnership between West Suffolk Hospital and the village health centre.

Through the initiative, a state-of-the-art x-ray unit and brand new ultrasound have been set up at Botesdale Health Centre which means patients can avoid making the 32-mile round trip to Bury St Edmunds hospital.

Hospital staff hold a weekly clinic at the health centre, sending images they take back to West Suffolk electronically so they can be viewed immediately by radiologists, and the new service uses technology that is a first for surgeries in the eastern region.

The arrangement, which has been championed as best practice in a Department of Health report, has been welcomed by patients who can now visit their GP for the local diagnostic service, and have their x-ray on the same day.

“This partnership means that patients in Botesdale are receiving a much more convenient service closer to their homes, which is especially helpful for older patients and those without easy access to transport. The technology we have at the hospital also allows us to view the images immediately, which also means patients can get a quicker diagnosis,” said Nigel Beeton, imaging services manager at West Suffolk Hospital.

He said the hospital is committed to making sure that services are provided more conveniently for patients.

Health centre GP, Dr Tim Cooke said: “The new service is working well, and uses technology which is a first for surgeries in the eastern region. Feedback from our patients has also shown that they really enjoy the convenience it offers.

“We are keen to invest in patient services and it is also critical that we support our local hospital, so this arrangement works extremely well for everyone. We are now looking at other innovative ways in which our patients can benefit from working closely with our partners in the wider NHS.”

The practice has funded the £230,000 cost of the equipment and refitting the x-ray room with a lead lining and special lighting. The Friends of Botesdale Health Centre raised £40,000 towards the project, which was used to pay for the ultrasound machine.

Tracy Dowling, director of strategic commissioning at NHS Suffolk, said: “This project is a great example of different sections of the NHS working together for the benefit of patients. By working together, we are able to offer an improved service which is easier and more convenient for patients to access.”

The health centre receives payment from NHS Suffolk for the x-rays and ultrasounds it carries out. It funds the cost of West Suffolk staff running the clinics through a service level agreement with the hospital.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Diss Mercury

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists