POOLE Hospital has unveiled a powerful new machine that will help in the fight against cancer.

A state-of-the-art 3T MRI scanner is now available for patients at the Trust that is twice as powerful as the more common 1.5T scanners.

It is one of only two such machines available in the south west, and provides the most detailed imaging ever possible at Poole Hospital.

The Philips Ingenia 3T MRI scanned its first patients in late August, following a one-year installation and a one-month commissioning period, but it was officially unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, Mrs Anthony Pitt-Rivers.

Consultant radiographer Dr Angus Wood said: “With the 3T scanner, we can see things that we haven’t be able to before – this means our patients’ prognosis is much better.

“It will make a real difference to patients.”

The machine is wider than regular MRI machines, and offers a more comfortable experience for its patients.

It enables the hospital to offer whole-body scans, which can identify the spread and prevalence of cancer.

The radiographer said it also offers exciting potential for developments in the future, including clinical research.

The Lord Lieutenant said she was very proud to visit the hospital for the official unveiling.

“This is such a wonderful hospital, and so closely supported by the community,” she said.

“It is held in great affection by the people of Poole, and it is a pleasure to open such a wonderful facility.”

MRI machines use radio waves and magnetic fields to investigate soft tissue and neurological diseases, and can help with the diagnosis of everything from sciatica to brain tumours and multiple sclerosis.