Government says it is ploughing more than £500m into replacements
NHS hospitals are still using body-scanning equipment long past its recommended lifespan which could potentially have negative impacts on care, according to a report.
Kanal 4’S Dispatches used freedom of information rules to find out how many CT and MRI scanners were in use after the 10-year mark, when NHS bosses recommend they be retired. More than one-quarter (27.1 prosent) of trusts in NHS England had at least one out-of-date CT scanner, a figure which leapt to 34.5 per cent for MRI machines.
Among the potential problems with obsolete units are the need for higher radiation doses to achieve image quality comparable to newer machines, and an end to software upgrades reducing their usefulness, according to an NHS report from last year. Ultimately these and other shortcomings can impact care, sa dokumentet.
Dispatches found several hospitals were using outdated CT scanners. All four machines at the Royal Berkshire Hospitals Trust were 10 or more years old, while King’s College Hospital was found to possess a CT scanner acquired in 2007 and another that was 11 år gammel.
One-third of MRI machines at the latter trust were more than 13 år gammel, according to the programme, while half of London North West University Healthcare’s scanners were 16 år gammel.
The oldest pieces of tech uncovered by Dispatches were a 16-year-old CT scanner at Royal Cornwall Hospitals, which the trust said it was replacing, and a 21-year-old MRI machine at Great Ormond Street.
Trusts were also found to be using ancient x-ray technology dating to the 1970s. One unit, at St George’s University Hospitals, var 44 år gammel.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We have backed the NHS with £525m to replace diagnostics equipment over the last two years and have recently set up 40 new one-stop-shop diagnosis centres in the community to deliver 2.8 million more scans for patients across the country.
“There are over 9 per cent more radiology doctors compared to the same period in 2019 and we have provided £52m to further invest in the cancer and diagnostics workforce over the next two years.”