Work is underway to install the north-east’s third MRI scanner thanks to a huge donation from a family of local shipping entrepreneurs.
The £2million machine, which will benefit patients across the whole of the north of Scotland, including the Highlands and Island, is in the process of being set up at NHS Grampian’s Woodend Hospital in Aberdeen.
Contractors are onsite preparing the area where the scanner will be housed, while the health board is also recruiting additional staff to operate it.
A NHS spokeswoman said: “We expect the scanner will be operational by Spring 2016.”
The MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine uses radio waves and magnetic fields to produce detailed images of the body’s insides.
It is hoped the new scanner will improve the experience of NHS patients by meeting the demand for scans and reducing waiting times.
It will also take more detailed images and be more spacious and shorter in length so patients feel more comfortable and less enclosed.
It will also be less noisy.
In May this year the Craig family and The Craig Group donated more than £1million to the health board to bring the device to the region.
Douglas Craig, chairman and managing director of the shipping and energy services firm, said the act would fulfil the wishes of his late father David, who died in 2010.
“We are pleased that work is already underway to install the scanner, a much-needed additional facility for the local community that will help to speed up the treatment process for patients,” he said.
“The donation also reflects one of my late father David Craig’s wishes to contribute towards the work of Dr Malcolm Metcalfe, a leading heart specialist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and with whom he had close ties.
“Furthermore, we believe it very fitting that the Granite City offers MRI scanning wherever possible because it was in Aberdeen that physicist, Professor John Mallard, played a pivotal role in developing the world’s first whole body MRI scanner.”
The NHS Grampian spokeswoman confirmed work is underway.
“We have purchased the MRI scanner and are working out the fine detail of the installation process with a specialist firm,” she said.
“A contractor is already onsite at Woodend Hospital preparing the area where the scanner will be housed.
“We are also in the process of recruiting the additional staff required.
“We are extremely grateful to Craig Group and the Craig family for this generous donation, which will benefit people in this region for years to come.”