HILLINGDON Hospital’s new MRI scanner room was officially opened by the Mayor, Cllr Catherine Dann.

The £1m scanner is one of the hospital’s busiest pieces of equipment and runs seven days a week, testing more than 500 people a month.

The five-ton machine had to be moved into position originally by crane and is more advanced than its predecessor, offering greater detail in imaging cancerous growths and musculo-skeletal images.

Hospital chief executive Shane McGaris added: “It’s a credit to both the clinical and non-clinical staff here that the service runs so smoothly and I would like to thank all of them for their hard work and commitment.

“Improvements in medical technology are moving ahead in leaps and bounds and it is amazing to think that the first MRI scan in 1977 took five hours, compared to today when a patient is scanned in a matter of minutes.”

Patients are not allowed to take anything metal into the scanner room because of the MRI’s powerful magnets. This includes credit cards, which can be rendered unusable because of their magnetic strips.

Our picture shows (from left): Daphne Levarelli, MRI superintendent, the mayor, Amod Prasher and Marie Fennessy, radiographers.