Patients waiting for diagnostic scans at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) are getting a boost with the resumption of routine activity.
The Oswestry-based hospital was forced to cease all non-essential imaging at the start of April, a move in line with national guidance as the NHS responded to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Since then, only urgent work has gone ahead within the department – but that is changing this week as the Trust resumes routine MRI, CT and ultrasound scans.
Numbers will not be at the levels seen before the pandemic – though the organisation is aiming to achieve the national target that activity should be restored to pre-covid levels by the end of October.
Eric Hughes, Radiology Services Manager, said: “It has been a challenging time for everyone and we still have a lot of work to do, but it is great to be able to open our doors to more patients once again.
“I really want to thank the public for their patience, and also our staff for their hard work and perseverance to get us to this point.
“We are still giving priority to urgent cases, but are now starting to undertake routine scans that were requested before lockdown.
“Our activity levels will be going up week by week, and are doing everything we can to meet national targets to return to pre-covid levels by the end of October.”
The task is being made more challenging by a shortage of radiographers – a problem for many NHS providers across the country. RJAH are actively recruiting, and are also looking at overseas options to fill vacancies.
And Eric is urging patients to play their part by getting in touch if they feel they no longer need a scan or cannot make an appointment offered to them.
“If someone feels the scan they were due to have is no longer required, then they should contact the clinician who requested it to discuss it,” he said.
“If a scan is not required or a patient cannot attend, then we do ask that you let us know in good time, as we would want to offer any cancelled appointment to someone else in order that the slot doesn’t go to waste.”