POOLE Hospital has unveiled a new £2m state-of-the-art scanner to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

The new PET/CT scanning service, which is the first of its kind in the country, will run from a purpose-built facility next to the hospital’s nuclear medicine department, replacing a mobile unit which visited each Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The project to install the first static scanner in Dorset is possible thanks to the Poole Hospital Cancer Treatment Trust's £500,000 Scanner Appeal.

It provides the most detailed imaging ever, using lower doses of radiation to make it safer for patients. The scanner offers hybrid diagnostic imaging – a combination of PET and CT images, while the unit’s layout is far more spacious and comfortable for patients than the mobile facility was.

The scanner will mainly be used to image and stage cancers, helping to identify changes in size and location as well as indicating how effective treatment is. It also allows greater scope than the mobile unit, meaning children and inpatients can now be scanned for the first time, as well as being put to use in research studies.

Dr Kat Dixon, consultant clinical scientist and head of nuclear medicine at Poole Hospital said: “This is a fantastic new facility, and it’s great to know that patients in the county will be benefitting from the state-of-the-art imaging now possible here.

“The differences between the mobile and static facilities are enormous, and I am confident patients will really appreciate the greatly improved environment, space and comfort.”

The scanner will be operated by Alliance Medical in partnership with the hospital’s nuclear medicine and medical physics teams. It forms part of a national agreement between Alliance Medical and NHS England to provide more static scanners across the country.

Radiologists from Poole and Bournemouth Hospitals will continue to provide the resultant clinical reports.