Magnetic Resonance Imagers

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 14 May 2024.

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Photo of Wes Streeting Wes Streeting Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the announcement at page 34 of the Spring Budget 2024, HC 560, published on 6 March 2024, on upgrading more than 100 MRI scanners with AI, what the average time taken for patients to receive relevant test results is; and if she will make an estimate of the average time for such results to be received when the new scanners are in use.

Photo of Wes Streeting Wes Streeting Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to paragraph 2.20 of Spring Budget 2024, HC 560, if she will publish the modelling used to estimate the number of patients that will be impacted by the proposed upgrading of 100 MRI scanners.

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Department does not hold data on the average time taken for patients to receive relevant Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test results. The Department is, therefore, unable to make an estimate of the average time for such results to be received when the new scanners are in use.

The National Health Service expects that upgrading one MRI scanner with Artificial Intelligence (AI) acceleration software will lead to an average of 3.71 additional patients being scanned per day in addition to the current average of 24 scans a day.

The table below provides the figures which estimate that upgrading 100 MRI scanners will mean 130,000 additional patients receive an MRI test each year.

Additional tests per upgraded scanner (hourly)

Additional tests per upgraded scanner (daily)

Additional tests per upgraded scanner (weekly)

Additional tests per upgraded scanner (annual)

Scanners upgraded

Additional Activity (annual)

0.31

3.71

26

1,300

100

130,000

MRI AI acceleration software enables scan acquisition time to be reduced, in turn enabling scans to be delivered in shorter time frames and therefore improving the time taken for patients to receive a test result from the point of referral. This is currently supporting the achievement of optimal levels of throughput to be achieved in 80 trusts, where 216 scanners have been upgraded.

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