A new study published by NHS Supply Chain has highlighted the risks of ageing diagnostic imaging and therapeutic equipment in the health service.
The document takes in views from radiographers, radiologists and service managers across the NHS, who outlined the potential impact on patient safety of old CT, MRI and linac machines.
The vast majority of respondents identified lower reliability, higher doses of radiation, lower diagnostic capability, lack of access to new radiotherapy techniques and slower throughput as some of the risks of old equipment.
One respondent said: ”Recent technology has resulted in the capability to employ a much lower radiation dose to get satisfactory results. To not have the most up-to-date scanner actually puts people at higher risk.”
The report also identifies the current state of the NHS equipment base. 148 CT scanners and 181 MRI scanners were identified as being over their recommended use life of 7 years, requiring an investment of more than £200m to replace.
In addition, 46 linac machines were found to be over their 10 year use life, requiring a further £92m investment to modernise.
Sue Johnson, professional officer at the SCoR for clinical imaging, said: “For many years now the SCoR has stressed the need to replace ageing machines, so this latest report comes as no surprise.
“The government has to speed-up investment to ensure patients receive the best and safest treatment possible.”
Click here to download the report.