New £0.6 million ultrasound suite opens at the Lister

This week a new £0.64 million ultrasound suite began to be used to treat outpatients and those referred by their GPs at the Lister hospital in Stevenage. Part of the five-year £150 million transformation of the Lister in to the main hospital for inpatient and emergency services across east and north Hertfordshire and south Bedfordshire that is due to be completed at the of 2014, the new service will allow the hospital’s existing ultrasound facility close to the emergency department to be used for emergencies and inpatients only.

Kate Costelloe reporting sonographer in the Lister's new ultrasound suite

Kate Costelloe reporting sonographer in the Lister’s new ultrasound suite

Ultrasound scanning is a specialist diagnostic service that allows specific parts of the body, especially the pelvis and abdomen to be examined for evidence of disease, including for the liver, gall bladder and urinary tract. Once all four rooms in the unit are fully operational – currently two are being used pending final transfer of all remaining inpatient and emergency services from the QEII to the Lister by the end of next year – some 16,000 people will be seen annually. This represents a doubling in the hospital’s scanning capacity, which in turn will help to reduce waiting times for this important diagnostic service.

Dr Colm Prendergast, a consultant radiologist and the Trust’s clinical director for radiology, said: “Along with CT, MRI and plain X-Ray, ultrasound is one of the main radiological diagnostic services that we have to help our clinical colleagues identify disease for patients, whether in an emergency or part of a planned diagnostic process.

“Also by having two ultrasound suites – one dedicated for emergencies and those on our wards, and the new unit supporting only those referred by their GPs and outpatients – we can help to reduce the waiting time for this important diagnostic procedure. The new service takes it place alongside our Lister scanning centre, which comprises two CT and two MRI scanners, which between them ensures that the Lister offers some of the most advanced radiological diagnostic services to be found in the country.”