New Digital PET-CT scanner officially unveiled to improve cancer diagnoses and outcomes

A new PET-CT scanner at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has been launched to improve access to advanced cancer diagnostics for patients in the East of England.

Working in partnership with our Trust, Alliance Medical have progressed the PET-CT service onsite from a mobile scanner to a specialist scanning centre in November 2019. A new digital scanner became operational in April, which has improved image quality and increased capacity.

The new scanner and PET-CT Centre at NNUH was officially opened by the Trust’s Chair, Tom Spink on 17 October.

Alliance Medical’s £5m investment will provide the local community with greater access to appointments, reduced scan times, better imaging quality and more accurate treatment plans. Specifically, it has increased daily appointments from 20 patients to 24, with further expansion plans that are set to double the size of the centre, moving from three bays to six in 2024, and seeing 32 patients per day.

Sasha Burns, Chief Operating Officer for Alliance Medical said: “The launch of this new scanner illustrates the continual investment we are making in PET-CT. As the National PET-CT contract holder for NHS England, we’re dedicated to improving diagnostic pathways that lead to better access, treatment options and overall survival rates. This new PET-CT service will enable us to reach even more patients, increasing scanning capacity in the area and reducing waiting times with state-of-the-art digital scanning technology. We take immense pride in offering this new digital PET-CT service.”

The digital PET-CT scanner is available for patients with a clinical referral and has appointments available six days a week.

Tom Spink, NNUH Chair, said: “We know how essential PET-CT scans are for cancer patients and the facilities offered here provide superior image quality and reduced waiting times. This building first opened in November 2019, just before the pandemic, and it is fantastic to have a permanent PET-CT scanner on our site, which is also used by referrers at the other two acute hospitals in Norfolk.”

Ian Stevenson, Centre Manager, said: “It’s brilliant to see the investment in this new scanner for the patients of Norfolk and Norwich! Going digital is an incredibly important milestone for us because we know that if we diagnose people with suspected cancer more rapidly, ultimately it can improve outcomes. Not only does this new scanner give us greater capacity to scan more patients daily, but the advanced technology helps us to detect even the smallest lesions and thus provide earlier diagnoses.’’

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