Atlantis Medical News

Scanning equipment could bring more equality to NHS


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UPDATED

13 DEC 2018


If there is one thing that stands the NHS apart from the healthcare systems provided in other countries, it is that the NHS is for everyone. This may lead to some people questioning exactly who gets access to the healthcare provided by the NHS, but there is no denying that the fact that the NHS cares for everyone is something to be proud of.

However, there are instances where the NHS doesn’t provide the same standard of service across the UK. Even though the NHS is spoken of as a single entity, various Trusts up and down the UK have responsibility for the services they offer. In many ways, this makes sense. After all, the demands on the NHS in one area may be very different from the demands placed on the organisation in other ways.

People’s lives can be affected by a postcode lottery

Of course, this creates situations which are often described as a “postcode lottery”. This is where a person’s chance of receiving treatment or from enjoying successful support depends on where they are based. Each Trust has a budget and not every Trust decides to use their budget in the same way. This means that some NHS areas will have access to high-quality equipment and technology that treat certain conditions and others will not.

If you suffer from a condition but you don’t live in a relevant area, you are unfortunate in that you don’t get access to the treatment that would likely make a difference to your quality of life. This has been in the news of late due to prostate cancer and an MRI diagnosis that can save lives, but which isn’t being used across the country as of yet.

It has been found that around 40,000 men each year are affected by prostate cancer and sadly 10,000 dies from it. Currently, the scanning technique which has been classed as the first-choice option for diagnosis and monitoring is only available to around half of the males who are suspected to suffer from the condition.

High-quality technology needs skilled professionals

While there is a need to deliver this technology to hospitals across the country, there is also a need to find funding to pay for the professionals who use this machine.

Dr Philip Haslam from the Royal College of Radiologists said; “Our ability to provide mpMRI for patients is hampered by a shortage of modern equipment and a crisis in radiologist staffing. We need more expert imaging doctors able to interpret these highly specific types of MRI scan. Demand for prostate mpMRI is rightly growing. Anecdotally we’ve heard of hospitals seeing demand for these scans tripling in a matter of months, but we also know there is wide geographical variation in availability. “

At Atlantis Medical, we appreciate that the cost of high-end equipment is expensive and that there is also a need to ensure that skilled and trained professionals are in place to use the technology effectively. However, with so many lives at stake, there is a need to provide a better standard of service to patients, and the NHS must be supported in a more effective manner.

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