The Royal Free Hospital’s imaging department is undergoing an exciting and important upgrade: we’re bringing in three MRI scanners, three interventional radiology labs, two cardiac catheter labs and two nuclear medicine gamma cameras. This state-of-the-art equipment will give patients access to the very best in modern imaging technology, and our clinical specialists are excited to start using the new equipment later this year and realising the benefits of the new systems in clinical diagnosis.

Work was temporarily paused this spring while our hospitals responded to COVID-19. However, this has now restarted with appropriate safety and social distancing measures in place, and the first new MRI scanner was delivered to the hospital in June (pictured above). Once installed these new facilities will help us to see more patients, reduce waiting times and deliver the latest in high quality diagnostic imaging.

We’re excited to announce that the nuclear medicine redevelopment and equipment replacement has now also started. Hoarding has been erected in the canteen and will remain in place throughout the summer to facilitate works. Once complete this will provide patients with access to two brand new gamma cameras – some of the most advanced equipment in nuclear medicine, integral in the diagnosis of cancer and cardiac patients.

By the end of 2020 we expect to have all of our new MRI scanners and nuclear medicine gamma cameras in place. Replacing our interventional radiology and cardiac catheter labs has also now begun. Contingency plans are in place to mitigate any potential service impact. The replacement works will continue with all five labs fully refurbished and operational by summer 2021.

In the meantime every effort is being made to minimise any disruption and we have brought in a brand new mobile MRI unit while the work is taking place. Thank you for your patience whilst we develop these state-of-the-art facilities that will provide advanced equipment and care to our patients.

Information for patients booked in for an MRI scan is available here.