Extended opening times for MRI improves patient care and saves Trust money

Improving the efficiency of King’s Mill Hospital’s MRI Service is one of the latest initiatives being implemented by Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (SFH) to cut costs by streamlining processes whilst maintaining and improving quality.

As part of the Trust’s overall plan to save £15million in 2011/12, the radiology team is saving £324,000 by revising and improving their service for patients.

These improvements include extending appointments for MRI scans to Saturdays and Sundays, so that fewer patients have to be scanned using an expensive privately-run mobile MRI unit to which several hundred King’s Mill patients were referred previously each year.

In addition to extending opening times, the team has also changed the way they book patients for an MRI scan. The new system ensures that the slot is more precisely tailored to each patient’s needs. This reduces the gap between appointments and means that more patients can be seen each day.

Overall the changes mean that more than 140 patients can be seen each week for an MRI scan compared to 100 under the previous system. This has improved the choice of appointment times for patients and reduced waiting times.

Jayne Burkitt, Radiology Manager, said: “In addition to saving money, our extended opening hours are also improving the patient experience in many ways. Our MRI patients now benefit from having their procedure in a purpose-built comfortable environment, receiving the best care from the Trust’s own staff, reducing their travel time and having the convenience of a wider choice of appointments.

“The King’s Mill service is now open from 8.30am until 9pm on both Saturday and Sunday, as opposed to the previous opening times of 8.30am-12.30pm Saturdays and an ad-hoc service on Sundays.”