AN investment of £7 million is being made in new equipment by the NHS trust that runs the two acute hospitals serving Ludlow and south Shropshire.

As part of a £7 million investment in Radiology equipment across The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford will receive a new CT scanner, a full upgrade to digital x-ray equipment, a cardiac catheter laboratory and a vascular and interventional laboratory. The new CT scanner is expected to go live in December.

A CT – computerised tomography – scan uses rotating x-rays and a computer to create detailed images of the inside of the body such as the internal organs, blood vessels and bones.

They can be used to:

• Diagnose conditions including damage to bones, injuries to organs, problems with blood flow, strokes and cancer

• Guide further tests or treatment for example helping to determine the location, size and shape of a tumour before radiotherapy, or allowing a doctor to take a needle biopsy (where a small tissue sample is removed using a needle) or drain an abscess

• Monitor conditions such as checking the size of tumours during and after cancer treatment.

The spending on the new equipment has been welcomed by Ludlow MP and former health minister Philip Dunne.

“I am pleased that the trust is investing £7m in state-of-the-art radiology, including a new CT scanner, to provide high quality images at the lowest possible radiation dose to patients.

“This will help with diagnosis and guide further treatment for things like radiotherapy – and is good news for Shropshire patients.”

Patients from Ludlow and south Shropshire that need more advanced treatment will normally be referred by local GPs to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital or the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

However, the trust also operates some outpatient clinics at Ludlow Hospital.