Cancer patients welcome the addition of a mobile PET-CT scanner at Lincoln County Hospital

Hundreds of cancer patients across Lincolnshire are now able to have their PET-CT scans at Lincoln County Hospital instead of having to embark on an 80 mile round trip to Nottingham.

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The new PET-CT scanner at Lincoln County Hospital is one of the most powerful imaging tools available to clinicians today. By using these more detailed scans, clinicians are not only able to diagnose cancers, but by looking at the size of any tumors and seeing if they have spread, they are able to stage the progression of the cancer.

Clinical Director Professor Ciro Rinaldi from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “PET-CT scan images are very detailed, clear and are a vital tool in both the diagnosis of some cancers and they also enable us to monitor how treatments are going and whether or not we need to change our approach.”

Bev Bean was the first patient to use the scanner in Lincoln. The 41 year old from Sleaford is a biomedical scientist who worked at the hospital for 14 years before moving to Grantham Hospital.

Bev said: “I am undergoing chemotherapy and it was important to be able to stage my cancer. This was my first PET-CT scan and being able to come to Lincoln made a massive difference.

“I know after my treatments I often feel drained and too tired to drive, especially long distances. It is much easier for me to arrange transport to Lincoln than out of the county.

“Lincoln County Hospital is a very familiar place for me to come to. Going to an unfamiliar place, a big city can be stressful on top of everything else. It is so much nicer to come to somewhere you know.”

NHS England has led the way in making sure all patients across the country have reasonable access to a PET-CT scan if needed. It has selected a collaborative network, led by Alliance Medical, to provide a PET-CT scanning services across 30 locations in England including the one in Lincolnshire.

Consultant Physicist and the Trust’s Head of Nuclear Medicine Laura White added: Having the mobile scanner in Lincoln will make a huge difference to our patients. We have worked closely with Alliance Medical to ensure that the patient’s experience is as good as is can be and it is an exciting and invaluable development to the services ULHT  offer.”

Alliance Medical’s Medical Director, Mark Ferreira commented: “We are really pleased to partner the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust; to support NHS England’s vision of delivering essential diagnostic services closer to patients.”

The mobile scanner will be sited off Sewell Road every Friday and Saturday. Patients can be dropped off outside the scanner, enabling friends and family to then park in one of the patient car parks and go for refreshments while they wait.

Professor Rinaldi added: “Getting the PET-CT scanner to Lincoln County Hospital has been a great team effort from many departments within the Trust. From Laura and the nuclear medicine team, to estates, facilities, contracts and security. It really will make a big difference to our patients during what must be a very stressful and worrying time.”

Bev added: “All of the team I saw at the scanner were so kind and professional. I am really grateful for the local service. I’m just so thankful it’s available now and so many people are going to benefit from it.”