State of the Art CT Scanner Comes to the UK

 RBS today announced that it was investing almost £4million to support the acquisition of a state of the art scanner for The University of Edinburgh's Queen's Medical Research Institute (QMRI) and NHS Lothian to assist in cutting edge research and give patients access to one of the world's most advanced diagnostic facilities.


The scanner will provide an additional 4000 patient scans a year to the current NHS provision. It will also accelerate the ability of the University to conduct cutting edge research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of a range of heart and cancer illnesses. This will make a significant contribution to Scotland's fight against heart and cancer related deaths.

QMRI will be the first institute in the UK, and one of the first in Europe to take delivery of this type of scanner which will be a resource above and beyond what is already financed by the NHS or the University. The scanner will be based at the Clinical Research Imaging Centre, being established at the University of Edinburgh in partnership with NHS Lothian, and will be operational by January 2009.

The Toshiba scanner which has taken ten years and an investment of £250million to develop is a major step change in the field of CT scanning technology.

Unlike previous scanners it can capture entire organs such as the heart or brain in a fraction of a second. Given the novel method of image capture, radiation exposure is reduced by approximately 80% compared with conventional CT scans.* This will have a significant impact on the way CT scanning is used to assist in the diagnosis of serious health conditions. (See Note to Editors for more details)

In a unique partnership, RBS will fund the acquisition and contribute to the ongoing operating costs with 25% of the scanner's capacity being made available to RBS staff. The remaining 75% will be split between QMRI and NHS Lothian.

Professor David Newby, Director of the QMRI's Clinical Research Imaging Centre said:

"The potential of new imaging technologies lies not only in replacing more intrusive tests but also in helping us to better understand and treat conditions such as heart disease, cancer and strokes. The 320-multidetector CT scanner represents a major advance in imaging the body, and in particular provides the ability to examine the heart and the coronary arteries within one heart beat, at high resolution and with markedly reduced radiation doses. The scanner, as part of an integrated approach encompassing a range of equipment, will enable the Clinical Research Imaging Centre to carry out cutting edge research with the ultimate aim of improving treatment for patients."

Charles Swainson, NHS Lothian medical director, said:

"We are delighted that this partnership will result in such an advanced scanner being available to NHS patients in Lothian. It is excellent news for the region as it will allow our clinicians to diagnose life-threatening illnesses within a matter of minutes and will also pave the way for quicker treatment. Another major advantage is that the extra scanning capacity it provides will free up time for other patients to benefit from our existing diagnostic facilities. In the longer term we also hope that the new scanner could open doors to entirely new clinical applications."

Allan Watt, Group Head of Brand Communications said:

"We are delighted that in partnership with NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh we have been able to bring this state of the art scanner to Scotland. As well as supporting the UK's reputation for medical research and bringing additional diagnostic support to Scotland, it will allow RBS to extend its current health screening options to staff.
"RBS has one of the largest benefits choice programmes in Europe and we know that health and wellbeing is one of the benefits that our staff value most. We already offer a range of health benefits such as medical checks and critical illness cover and this will complement our existing lifestyle choices and take our provision of staff benefits to a new level."

For further information please contact:
Tara Womersley, University of Edinburgh, (t) 0131 650 9836 (m) 07791 355804
Matthew Shelly, NHS Lothian (t) 0131 536 9006
Aileen Cowden, NHS Lothian (t) 0131 536 9315
Out of hours press office, NHS Lothian (m) 07770 396958
Linda Harper, RBS (t) 0131 525 0382 (m) 07876 145309