Guernsey Press

X-ray machines to give better picture of islanders’ health

New x-ray equipment will soon be providing a picture of island health in both Guernsey and Alderney.

Princess Elizabeth Hospital’s radiology department. Left to right: support worker Narmeen Oozeerally, radiographer Charles Hurford, deputy manager of radiology Linda Gardner, radiographer (lying down) Esnart Banda, services manager Alistair Richards, radiographer Kessah Sombero, reporting sonographer Joseph Thomas and support worker Lexine Dianne Cebu. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 32933233)

Three new machines have been bought and installed at a cost of just over £900,000.

A Health & Social Care spokesman said that these were planned replacements of ageing x-ray machines which were nine, 13 and 18 years old.

‘We have two x-ray rooms at the PEH and one had new equipment installed in December while the second room’s equipment will be replaced in April,’ he said.

‘Replacement x-ray equipment will be installed in Alderney at the Mignot Memorial Hospital in March. All of the three rooms being replaced were beginning to suffer from decreased reliability and obsolescence of their technology level.’

HSC said that the two older rooms were nursed to the end of their lifespan to allow the purchase of all three replacements at the same time from one manufacturer.

‘Purchasing identical technology at the same time has allowed HSC to gain the optimal commercial advantage while ensuring that once the staff are trained to use one x-ray machine, they can then operate any of the three machines,’ the spokesman said.

Radiographer Kessah Sombero gets to grip with the new x-ray equipment. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 32933237)

‘This allows HSC to increase its resilience and adaptability while simplifying training for the radiographers. In addition, ancillary equipment can be shared across those rooms when required, and engineering support is via one company and not three.’

X-ray examinations are deemed as the first line or most basic form of medical imaging and are performed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, across the two islands.

‘Often a relatively simple x-ray can allow immediate diagnosis to both rule in and rule out pathology for more simple ailments, for example diagnosing a fractured/dislocated bone, or diagnosing a chest infection which allows the start of antibiotic treatment,’ said the spokesman.

‘It would not be operationally or financially practicable to transfer patients between the islands on a 24-hour basis, therefore this type of procedure is required across both islands. Of the 55,000 examinations performed by the radiology department annually, 40% of them are x-ray examinations, thus showing the reliance upon this type of technology.’