An additional MRI suite could be brought in at St Richard's Hospital to help staff cope with extra demand, if its planning application is given the green light.
St Richards Hospital, based in Spitalfield Lane, Chichester, is looking to refurbish its existing imaging department and provide a new build extension, 'which will accommodate an additional MRI suite' (CC/19/00872/FUL), following a 'national increase in screening programmes'.
This design and access statement, produced by Ryder Architecture on behalf of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said the expanded MRI unit would integrate a new MRI suite with the existing facility. It also said it will allow the hospital to replace 'outdated/broken equipment' and 'reduce the time when the service is unavailable due to planned maintenance'.
The statement read: "[This would include;] one new MRI suite and one existing MRI suite, two patients changing cubicles, ambulant and wheelchair accessible WCs, improved storage and office provision, new patient waiting area [and] the construction will be phased to enable the existing MRI to remain operational during the construction."
'Several changes' are anticipated to core services, models of care and activity in Western Sussex over the next five to ten years, according to the planning document.
It added: "The most important of which is the designation of both Worthing Hospital and St Richard’s Hospital as trauma units.
"The increase of day cases and anticipated increase in virtual attendances has resulted in higher referrals to imaging and specialist treatment services.
"Therefore there is a need for imaging services across the trust, which currently requires a mobile Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner to be regularly brought in to give extra capacity."