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Health / MRI milestone as building parts begin to arrive at hospital

Preparations are underway for the lifting of the parts on Wednesday. Photo: Jim Mullay

MODULAR parts which will form the new MRI scanner building at the Gilbert Bain have begun to be delivered to the Lerwick hospital – marking a milestone in the project.

The project had been delayed as a result of ferry cancellations over recent weeks.

The sections will be lifted into position using a large crane from tomorrow (Wednesday).

In order to allow this work to be safely carried out, NHS Shetland has closed the west end of the car park at the hospital, and it will remain closed until the lifting works are completed.

Three of the six modules were delivered earlier today, with the remaining modules set to be arrive on site tomorrow.

During the delivery there may be some minor delays to vehicles entering and exiting the car park and travelling down Cairnfield Road.

Emergency access for ambulances will be maintained throughout.

Parking restrictions will also be in place on the southern end of Cairnfield Road to allow safe movement of trucks up and down the road and access to the site.

NHS Shetland apologised for any inconvenience this may cause.

The health board said the visiting mobile MRI scanner is also visiting Shetland this week.

Due to what is happening at the hospital, the visiting scanner is being located in the car park at Clickimin Leisure Complex.

It will be the first time a permanent MRI scanner has been based in Shetland, and it should reduce the number of trips patients have to make south for scans.

Last year it was announced that the estimated cost of providing an MRI scanner service in Shetland had risen to £3.5 million, but the local health board said it has been promised financial support to cover the gap.

Nearly £2 million has been contributed to the appeal fund through a successful community fundraising campaign.

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The £3.5 million figure includes the MRI scanner, the bespoke building and operational running costs for the first year.

NHS Shetland previously said it expected the scanner to be operational later this year.

More than 600 patients from Shetland are said to travel south to have an MRI scan each year.

MRI scanners can diagnose cancer, strokes, heart conditions and many other conditions and having one in Lerwick would complement the existing CT scanner, which uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed images of the inside of the body.

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