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Sutherland: Hospital X ray department officially reopened after upgrade

13th July 2019

Photograph of Sutherland: Hospital X ray department officially reopened after upgrade

The refurbished X Ray Department at NHS Highland's Lawson Memorial Hospital was officially reopened this week (Tuesday 9th July 2019) following a significant upgrade to equipment.
The ceremony marks the installation of state-of-the-art direct digital equipment that replaces technology which is more than 25 years old. These new digital images will support quicker diagnosis and significantly enhance patient care at the Golspie Hospital.

Installation work to upgrade the X-ray equipment began in April. It took almost two months to complete and the department became fully operational on Monday 27th May 2019.

Guest of honour at the reopening was retired Senior Radiographer Jackie Knight, who left the department in March this year after 28 ½ years of service at the Lawson.

Jackie, who turned off the old system on her last day at work, said: "The new X ray department is bright, airy and modern and is far superior technologically to what I used. The resulting images will be made available much quicker and of a much higher quality which should enhance the patient experience."

Speaking at the reopening ceremony, Michelle Johnstone, NHS Highland's North area manager, said: "This is a fantastic, exciting investment for continued development and growth of services on site at the Lawson. Not only does it provide state-of-the-art X rays at Lawson, but it also demonstrates the board's commitment to the smaller remote and rural sites. It's all part of supporting and keeping services close to people’s homes."

Lorraine Coe, NHS Highland’s Sutherland district manager, said: "This has been an extensive piece of work and I am very grateful to everybody involved throughout the project. We now have a state-of-the-art facility here at the Lawson Memorial Hospital that will benefit many people over the years to come."

The upgrade project at the Lawson also drew praise for the way it was conducted, including weekly meetings with stakeholders often held over the board’s video conferencing network.

Mr Andrew Hince, NHS Highland consultant physicist and head of Radiation Protection, said: "What was exemplary about this project was how everyone worked together along the lines of communication and project structure, which was very well co-ordinated by the local team."

The X ray digital upgrade is the Digital Diagnost release 4.2 system. Philips DigitalDiagnost is a premium direct digital radiography system with a wireless detector for ease of patient positioning. The state-of-the-art digital detector technology and exclusive UNIQUE image processing provides superb image quality without any post processing, making it easier to see fine details immediately.

The Lawson also has industry-leading Skyflow software that provides enhanced image quality for all patient sizes, without having to use a grid, saving the extra exposure dose that is associated with grid use.

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