8 August 2002
Long delays in getting scans are causing a bottleneck in the NHS, says a report by the Audit Commission.
In a survey of radiology services, it found many patients were waiting almost nine months for an MRI scan. A survey in March 2001 showed the average wait was five months. Patients with neurological symptoms were among these waiting longest.
The report found some hospitals using equipment more effectively than others. Some carry out 4,000 MRI scans a year, other only half that. Another problem is an estimated shortage of 5,000 radiographers with one in seven existing posts vacant. The Department of Health said the situation had improved. Since the Commission's figures were compiled, 21 new MRI scanners and 80 new CT scanners were in use in the NHS.