A new PET-CT scanner has been launched at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, to boost access to advanced cancer diagnostics in the East of England.

The hospital has advanced its onsite PET-CT service, thanks to a partnership with Alliance Medical. This saw a mobile scanner upgraded to a specialist spanning centre in November 2019, and then this April a new digital scanner was installed. As a result, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has access to improved image quality and increased capacity.

On October 17, the new scanner and PET-CT Centre at the hospital was officially opened by Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chair Tom Spink. The technology is available for patients with a clinical referral, and is available for appointments six days a week.

The £5m investment from Alliance Medical has seen the number of daily appointments available increase from 20 to 24, with plans to further expand capacity next year. In 2024, Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital will see the number of bays doubled from three bays to six, increasing capacity to 32 patients per day.

Sasha Burns, chief operating officer for Alliance Medical, said: “The launch of this new scanner illustrates the continual investment we are making in PET-CT. As the National PET-CT contract holder for NHS England, we’re dedicated to improving diagnostic pathways that lead to better access, treatment options and overall survival rates. This new PET-CT service will enable us to reach even more patients, increasing scanning capacity in the area and reducing waiting times with state-of-the-art digital scanning technology.”

Ian Stevenson, centre manager, added: “Going digital is an incredibly important milestone for us because we know that if we diagnose people with suspected cancer more rapidly, ultimately it can improve outcomes. Not only does this new scanner give us greater capacity to scan more patients daily, but the advanced technology helps us to detect even the smallest lesions and thus provide earlier diagnoses.’’

At the end of the summer, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital joined Guy’s and St Thomas’, the Royal Berkshire and Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Trust in offering a less invasive robotic treatment for men with enlarged prostates.