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Clinical Radiology

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Imaging Services at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust

The Radiology Directorate is part of the Clinical Support Division, which includes Pathology, Pharmacy and Therapies.

The Radiology Department (Watford General Hospital)

The department is well equipped with modern imaging equipment. There is a Siemens Avanto 1.5 T MRI scanner. The department has two digital fluoroscopy units, one of which is a Siemens Artis Zee system and the other is a Toshiba Ultimax C-Arm. There is a GE Lightspeed 64 slice CT scanner and a Philips Skylight gamma camera.

There are five general rooms two of which are DR (digital radiography) and two have DR(digital radiography) retrofits, a dental room and dedicated radiography facilities in the Accident and Emergency department.

There are three outpatient ultrasound rooms in the main building with three in the maternity block and one in the Acute Admissions unit.

A Toshiba Aquillion 1 CT scanner and a Siemens Aera MRI scanner have recently been installed in the new Cardiac imaging suite which has facilitated the repatriation of outsourced cardiac CT and MRI scans.

An Acute Admissions Unit opened at Watford General Hospital in March 2009. It consists of three levels, accommodating 120 beds.

A Diagnostic Imaging Centre on Level 2 incorporates a 64 slice GE Lightspeed CT scanner and a GE Logiq Ultrasound machine. There are also two Cardiac Catheter Laboratories and modern Pharmacy Department on Level 2.

The radiology department’s walk-in chest x-ray service operates from Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm at all sites.

The Radiology Department (Hemel Hempstead Hospital and St Albans City Hospital)

The Radiology Department at Hemel Hempstead Hospital is well provided with imaging equipment. This includes a GE 1.5T Sigma Excite MRI scanner and GE Opdima 64 slice CT scanner. There are two general x-ray rooms in the main department and one digital screening room. The Urgent Care Centre radiology suite has two X-ray rooms. There are three ultrasound machines in the main department. The Nuclear Medicine department has a Phillips Skylight Gamma Camera.

The Radiology Department at St Albans City Hospital is also well equipped. In addition to three general X-ray rooms, there are four ultrasound rooms, a digital GE Senographe Mammography machine and a Faxitron.

Information Technology within the Department of Radiology

There is Trust wide Agfa PACS system which is integrated to the Radiology Information System (Healthcare Software Systems - CRIS). The system offers Voice Recognition software and digital dictation of reports. All modalities are integrated to PACS. A replacement PACS system is being installed in July 2017.

The Trust has implemented Order-Communications requesting of radiology investigations.

Radiologist workload is allocated according to “Wizrad” (an excel based tool), which integrates individual radiologist job plans, with reporting parameters and the department’s radiologists’ rota to provide an automated workload allocation mechanism.

The work of the departments

As well as the usual range of diagnostic services, the radiology department offers both general and specialist interventional techniques. Across the department, we perform approximately 290,000 examinations per annum compromising urgent in-patient work, outpatient activity and direct assess GP referrals.

GPs have open access to plain film work, barium investigations, obstetric, gynaecological and general ultrasound examinations, limited CT scans and Nuclear Medicine investigations.

Medical education

Final year medical students from UCL formally rotate through the department, which is also a clinical placement site for undergraduate radiography students based at the University of Hertfordshire.

The groundwork for receiving postgraduate radiology trainees in currently being put in place and we are exploring links with the Eastern Region for registrars to join us in 2017.

Non-medical education

The department provides clinical placements for University of Hertfordshire student radiographers and nurses as well as supporting elective placement form other higher education institutions outside of the academic year. Work experience placements are also supported for both those wanting to commence radiography and medical training.

Hemel Hempstead Hospital, St Albans City Hospital and Watford General Hospital