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New survey highlights CT demand

Monday 29th June 2015
A new survey from the CIB has found that a significant proportion of CT scanners need to be replaced. Image Credit: Thinkstock
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A new report has suggested that not enough investment is being made in equipment to ensure that radiographers can do their job to the highest standard.

The research from the Clinical Imaging Board (CIB) found that around 40 per cent of all CT scanners had no funded replacement plans in place. 

The CIB, which consists of the Society and College of Radiographers, the Royal College of Radiologists and the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, said in its report that the increasing use of advanced imaging continues across the UK and across the world.

CT scans are an important part of modern healthcare, being a valuable resource of both emergency and routine medicine, with the application of the technology being widespread. However, the rapid development of CT technologies and new specialist applications, as well as the post-processing powers of modality workstations, are putting pressure on these services.

One of the most important areas for CT scans is cancer diagnosis, treatment, followup and survivorship, which is significantly increasing the demand for this technology. Over the past ten years, according to the report, there has been a more than ten per cent increase per year.

The report reads: "However, there is anecdotal evidence that in the UK, investment in CT equipment is declining, which may be due to NHS funding restrictions."

Currently, the UK has less than nine scanners for every million living in the country, which is low.

The research from CIB also shows the use of “radiation dose reduction” technologies in CT scanners, with more than a tenth of NHS organisations responding to the survey saying that their CT machines did not have the necessary technology to do this effectively.

Professor Stephen Keevil, current chair of the CIB, said: “The average CT scanner is five years old, but there are no funded replacement plans in place for 40 per cent of those scanners. This is very concerning as replacing high-value equipment is complex. The NHS needs to be planning well in advance.”

Written by Angela Newbury

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