Increasing imaging capacity and opening the door to new therapies

A £2.5m project to improve diagnostics capacity and patient experience has been completed with the refurbishment of the Nuclear Medicine service.

Work began at the hospital in January 2020 to reconfigure the department to increase the number of SPECT-CT scanners from one to three.

The gamma cameras help provide more capacity and flexibility to ensure urgent and cancer scans are carried out in a more timely manner and the new technology allows new procedures and therapies to the carried out.

The Nuclear Medicine department has been reconfigured and refurbished including new artwork by Norfolk artist Beverley Coraldean, which has been funded by the N&N Hospitals Charity.

Matthew Gray, Clinical Scientist, said: “This investment makes a huge difference to our Nuclear Medicine service and for local patients to provide high quality imaging for a range of conditions. We are in the process of trying to expand our therapeutic portfolio to incorporate relatively recent ‘theranostic’ radiopharmaceuticals that can provide diagnostic imaging and therapeutic action to target neuro-endocrine and prostate cancers. The expansion of Nuclear Medicine will enable the treatment and imaging to take place in Norfolk for more cancer cases removing the need for these patients to travel long distances for their cancer treatment.

“The department has also purchased a machine that is capable of generating radioactive gas to perform lung ventilation studies with the intention of expanding the lung imaging service and improved diagnostic imaging for patients with suspected pulmonary embolism.

We are also looking to make inroads into establishing a 3D imaging head and neck melanoma service using SPECT-CT imaging.”

Julie Cooper, Head of Grants for the N&N Hospitals Charity, said: “It is lovely to see Beverley’s wonderful artwork making the unit attractive and welcoming.  The Hospitals Charity provides the ‘extras’ over and above what the Trust can do with NHS funding, and we are always keen to fund improvements to the hospital environment to enhance patients’ experience in our hospitals.”