Coronation Street star unveils state-of-the-art scanner

Ben Price officially opens a new MRI scanner in radiology at the Walton Centre. Ben Price officially opens a new MRI scanner in radiology at the Walton Centre.

Coronation Street star Ben Price who plays brain injury suffering character Nick Tilsley, officially opened The Walton Centre’s fourth MRI scanner which will improve patient care in one of the UK’s busiest neuroradiology departments.

Ben, whose character Nick suffered a horrific brain injury after a car crash, visited the specialist neuroscience hospital on Monday 28th April, to cut a ribbon on the state-of-the-art MRI scanner that will improve the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and reduce waiting times for patients: “It has been extraordinary. If anything ever happened to me I would want to be here at The Walton Centre and in one of the best hospitals in the UK.

Having the best equipment and staff is essential for people with brain injuries. It really is life and death and somewhere like The Walton Centre with its amazing facilities is what can make the difference.”

The Walton Centre’s Neuroradiology Department is already one of the busiest in the country and last year staff carried out about 14,000 MRIs and 7,000 CT scans.

Thanks to the new scanner, the Neuroradiology Department will be able to treat a steadily increasing number of patients.

The scanner, provided by GE Medical Systems, has a wider bore, meaning patients do not feel as tightly enclosed while undergoing an MRI scan.

Clinical Director of Neuroradiology Dr Sacha Niven said: “The addition of a fourth MRI scanner will provide sufficient scanning hours to meet the increasing demand from the neurology, neurosurgery and pain services.

”This new piece of equipment will mean that patients can be seen more quickly and the Trust can provide a full complement of MRI imaging to ensure the best levels of diagnosis and treatments.”

The new scanner, housed in an extension to the front of the hospital, was the final part of an £14 million programme of expansion and refurbishment which also included the new Chavasse Ward; an expanded Jefferson Ward; and a sixth operating theatre.

The investment programme was carried out over the last two years by contractor Kier; architect Gilling Dod and project manager Turner & Townsend.

Ben Price is a patron of brain injury charity Headway Preston & Chorley, a local branch of the national charity that supports people affected by brain injury. He sought advice from the organisation and from The Walton Centre’s Clinical Director for Neurosurgery Paul May, to accurately portray his character’s extensive injuries and gruelling rehabilitation.

Headway provides an Acute Trauma Support Nurse at the Trust who acts a link between services, supports patients and their families and helps them to improve their quality of life.

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