At Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH), a £2.4m project to increase diagnostic capacity and improve patient experience has been completed. The project includes the refurbishment of the NNUH Nuclear Medicine service which has been reconfigured to increase imaging capacity. The three new Symbia Intevo Bold™ SPECT/CT systems have been installed as part of a Nuclear Medicine Value Partnership with Siemens Healthineers which manages a proportion of the Trust’s vital imaging equipment, ensuring it keeps pace with technological developments.
Reconfiguration of the Nuclear Medicine service began in January 2020, increasing imaging capacity from a single SPECT/CT scanner to three Symbia Intevo Bold systems. The new SPECT/CT facilities from Siemens Healthineers not only allow greater capacity and flexibility within the Nuclear Medicine service, but also expand service provision by enabling new procedures and therapies.
The new systems combine high-performance CT with advanced SPECT imaging. Engineered to utilise CT as a frame of reference during image reconstruction, the systems offer high image resolution with xSPECT Bone™ technology to enable improved characterisation of disease. The Symbia Intevo Bold systems, with xSPECT Quant™ and Broad Quantification™ technologies, generate highly accurate and reliable measurements to support early diagnoses and optimal therapeutic strategies at the Trust, whilst SAFIRE CT image reconstruction technology aids with dose reduction.
Matthew Gray, Clinical Scientist at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “This investment makes a huge difference to our Nuclear Medicine service and for local patients, allowing us to provide high-quality imaging for a range of conditions. We are in the process of trying to expand our therapeutic portfolio to incorporate relatively recent ‘theranostic’ radiopharmaceuticals that can provide diagnostic imaging and therapeutic action to target neuroendocrine and prostate cancers.”
“The expansion of nuclear medicine will enable the treatment and imaging to take place in Norfolk for more cancer cases, removing the need for these patients to travel long distances for their treatment,” adds Gray. “The additional capacity provided by having three cameras will also allow us to implement new imaging services for our clinicians, such as providing a local hub to diagnose and treat patients with cardiac amyloidosis and recovering the lung ventilation and perfusion service which had been put on hold for a number of years. There are also plans to begin a head and neck sentinel node service using SPECT/CT imaging for patients with melanomas. It’s a very exciting prospect for us and we are happy to have Siemens Healthineers as a partner in this journey.”
The new equipment has been installed as part of a Value Partnership with Siemens Healthineers which supports with maintenance and imaging equipment provision. The partnership helps to ensure the availability of innovative nuclear medicine technology in the hospital for a period of seven years which includes dedicated technical support and on-site service.
“We’re pleased to play an integral part in making Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s ambitious expansion plans a reality,” states Nancy West, Head of Enterprise Services at Siemens Healthineers GB&I. “As part of the Value Partnership with Siemens Healthineers, the Trust is able to access innovative medical technologies, whilst improving operational workflow and driving efficiencies. With the implementation of the Symbia Intevo Bold systems, the Nuclear Medicine service has expanded imaging capacity, ensuring urgent scans and cancer investigations are carried out promptly. The Trust will now be able to advance its capabilities to include procedures and therapies previously unavailable at NNUH.”
The refurbishment expands clinical services at the Trust whilst striving to improve patient experiences with the support of local charities. With funds awarded by Norfolk cancer charity, Big C, each new scanning room features LED ceiling panels and built-in media units, whilst art from local artist Beverly Coraldean, commissioned by the N&N Hospitals Charity, creates a welcoming atmosphere within the newly refurbished department.