A NEW state-of-the-art scanner will be unveiled at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre today.

The £2m PET-CT scanner aims to reduce waiting times and give patients across Cheshire and Merseyside improved imaging technology at locations closer to their home.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET), produces images which show how body cells are functioning.

Combining this with computerised tomography in a single scanner, produce detailed information on the location, size, nature and extent of disease anywhere in the body.

Chief executive Andrew Cannell said: "Investing in this new scanner means we can offer patients reduced radiation doses, reduced scan times and improvement in scan quality.

"We are always looking at ways to improve our care, and as the previous service was operated once a week on a mobile unit in the car park – it wasn’t ideal.

"This new static service offers an improved patient experience and vital research opportunities for our specialists."

Before the service was introduced cancer patients attended Clatterbridge for a CT planning scan then had a separate appointment for a PET scan in Liverpool.

And due to limited access to PET-CT in Liverpool, this has only been available for a very small group of patients.

Having PET-CT on site at Clatterbridge now enables this innovative planning technique to be offered to more patients quickly and seamlessly.

The introduction of a static PET-CT service and investment in the refurbishment of the unit is a major investment by The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre as they move forward with their plans to transform cancer care across the region.

Among those benefitting from the service is 42-year-old Kathleen Philpott from Moreton, who was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer last year.

She said: "I'm claustrophobic, so I struggled to get through my first scan in the mobile unit as the room was so small and cramped.

"I have already had a course of chemotherapy treatment and I wasn’t looking forward to another PET-CT scan to decide if I needed radiotherapy treatment too.

"But I was pleasantly surprised to find the new facilities had been opened at the cancer centre.

"You have an hour long wait before the scan to let a contrast injection pass through your body, and the introduction of the new 'up-take rooms' helped this hour pass quickly and more importantly - comfortably.

"It was a much easier, quicker process; a 100% improvement in experience."