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Mobile bone scanner

NHS Grampian's mobile osteoporosis unit.

A MOBILE scanner able to measure patients’ bone density is making a pilot visit to Shetland this week.

NHS Shetland says the GO-MOBILE unit will save many patients having to make long journeys for a scan, help identify people who are unaware that their bones are thinning, and allow the level of medication for people taking bone-strengthening tablets to be tailored to suit the extent of their osteoporosis.

The health board said a number of Shetland patients had been referred by their GP after being assessed for osteoporosis. Those patients have been invited to visit the mobile unit, based in the Montfield car park, and undergo a 20-minute scan which involves lying on a couch while the hips and back are scanned using a small dose of radiation.

Radiographers from NHS Grampian’s osteoporosis unit will carry out the scans, which will then be sent to Aberdeen to be assessed.

NHS Shetland medical director Roger Diggle said it represented a “significant improvement in service provided to Shetland and we are the first island location in the UK to achieve this. It will be a great benefit to those that no longer need to travel for scans.”