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Brain Scanners

Volume 932: debated on Wednesday 25 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many brain scanners are currently in use in Scotland: in which hospitals they are sited; what further brain scanners are to be installed in Scotland; in which hospitals they will be sited; what criteria are used in deciding where brain scanners should be sited; what provision is made for the training of staff to operate and maintain them; what assessment has been made of the extent of their clinical use; and how many patients have benefited from their installation in Scottish hospitals.

Four EMI brain scanners are at present in operation, one at each of the neurosurgical departments in Scotland, located at the Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Dundee Royal Infirmary, and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. A further scanner is to be installed at the Southern General Hospital. Current advice is that each neurosurgical department should have at least one brain scanner.Comprehensive training courses are provided by EMI for staff using the equipment, who also co-operate closely with the respective health board's medical physics department. EMI have engineers and stocks of spares based in Scotland to ensure rapid response in the event of faults or breakdowns.The clinical uses of the scanners are under continuous review at the units where they are installed; in particular an evaluation, including an assessment of clinical uses, was carried out at the Southern General Hospital in 1975.The number of patients investigated at the Southern General Hospital was over 2,300 in 1976. The other scanners have not been in operation long enough for comparable figures to be available.