The Musculo-skeletal Ultrasound Department at Cannock Chase Hospital has moved into bigger premises in the hospital due to increased demand for the service.
The new department, which was officially opened on Wednesday 28 November by the Trust’s Deputy Chairman, Dennis Heywood, has moved from one room within the Assessment Unit on Level 2, to an area on Level 1 in the former Davy Unit. The Department now consists of three clinical rooms, with scanners, a large reception area and waiting room with a large plasma screen TV for patient comfort while they wait.
Dr Tom Sheeran, Consultant Rheumatologist said: ‘This department is the first dedicated Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Unit in the country. We are able to diagnose inflammatory arthritis quickly as we have the latest ultrasound technology. We are less reliant on X-rays for diagnosis and are better than MRI in the assessment of inflammation in a functional peripheral joint. This is because in a MRI scanner you have to keep still while under ultrasound movement is seen and thus is often more clinically useful.
‘We have trained staff to perform complex injection therapies under ultrasound control. This service also helps to assess treatments in patients with inflammatory arthritis. We have an active research program and are involved with a number of projects with patients with arthritis.
Mr Heywood paid tribute to staff, saying: ‘Moves like this do not take place without a lot of hard work and commitment from staff. It is great that the service is so successful that it had to expand, and that the local community in Cannock has such a fantastic service on its doorstep. It clearly signals the Trust’s commitment to Cannock Chase Hospital.’
Pictured with the new scanner are Consultant Sonographer Alison Hall and patients Nikki Ingram from Cannock and Philip McHugh from Hednesford.