Prior to its recent decision to move MRI services in-house, the County Durham and Darlington National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust in the U.K. had been spending approximately 2.5 million pounds (2.8 million euros) annually on an MRI services contract, according to a report on 20 August in The Northern Echo.
The hospital group's contract with Alliance Medical covered the cost of loaning the equipment, maintaining the systems, and employing radiographic staff at Bishop Auckland Hospital and Darlington Memorial Hospital, according to the article. The Alliance contract ended last year, and after a financial analysis, the trust determined the most cost-effective method of scanning patients was to repatriate the scanners and provide an in-house service across the trust, The Northern Echo reported.
The new MRI scanners from Philips Healthcare include a wider tunnel, ambient lighting, and at Darlington Memorial Hospital, the ability to watch a film during the scan, according to the article. The Northern Echo said fundraising to pay for the new equipment will continue until the end of the year, and has included support from the Darlington Rotary Club, local businesses, and many individuals.