Staff and patients at Southampton Children’s Hospital are set to unveil a new space-age imaging department at an opening event later today (Thursday).
Work on the £1.5 million radiology renovation began in March 2015 to renew and modernise diagnostic equipment but also improve the environment for young patients.
Among the latest technology on display will be a mobile digital x-ray machine – nicknamed UHS (University Hospital Southampton) Enterprise – which is taken to patients at the bedside on the paediatric intensive care unit.
The department is now home to hi-tech digital x-ray rooms, a dedicated fluoroscopy suite. This enables clinicians to obtain real-time moving images of the body and a novel x-ray chair that has made imaging of spinal patients safer and more comfortable.
It also contains a £1,500 sensory corner – funded by Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity – which provides interactive activities and visual stimulation including bubble tube lighting in the waiting area.
In addition, the expansion means the team’s radiographers are now offered the opportunity to train as sonographers in the infant hip screening clinic.
The child-friendly facility also provides an insight into what can be expected in the hospital’s new children’s emergency and trauma department, which will incorporate a satellite x-ray room and will be among the first phases of the build.
The children’s emergency and trauma department appeal, which is a partnership between Southampton Hospital Charity and The Murray Parish Trust, reached £1 million in donations in January but a further million in fundraising is required.
This will be matched with £2 million from the government and £800,000 from University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust to create a unit expected to see more than 30,000 youngsters every year from across the south of England.
“We are really pleased and proud of our modern department and are delighted to have the opportunity to unveil some of the latest technology we have to offer which places our facility among one of the leading in the country,” said Victoria Fowler, deputy superintendent paediatric radiographer at Southampton Children’s Hospital.
“It is a real honour to be able to celebrate these achievements with our patients and some special guests and mark a very important milestone in children’s radiology in Southampton.”
She added: “With the children’s emergency department fundraising appeal ongoing, we hope showcasing the appearance of a child-friendly x-ray room will help to illustrate to the public the type of modern environment we will see more of with this exciting development.”
The opening event, which takes place in children’s radiology on C level at Southampton General Hospital from 4pm until 6pm, will see staff and patients joined by special guests including Pets as Therapy dog Leo and his owner Lyndsey Uglow.