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Healthcare firm plots national roll out

Tuesday 20 November 2012 5:00

A private healthcare business has announced plans to roll its open MRI scanner service out across the country.

Newcastle Clinic, based in Jesmond, operates the only open MRI scanner in the North East, where it is used to diagnose NHS patients who suffer from claustrophobia or who are unable to fit into a conventional ‘closed’ scanner offered at NHS hospitals.

It can be used for a range of diagnostic procedures including suspected cancer investigations, back problems and sports injuries and can be used for NHS and private patients.

Managing director Shaun Fryer said: “We have already successfully reached out to people from across the North who need to use our open scanner for whatever reason and are suffering unnecessary pain from a treatable condition or stress from fear of the unknown and now we are looking to reach out across the UK.

“I would be very happy to roll out the model we have used at Newcastle Clinic, with predicted sales of £2.5m by the end of 2013, right across the country.”

Newcastle Clinic was started in the 1960s by an osteopath and a chiropractor but in January 2007, under the guidance of Shaun, the private business was renamed Newcastle Clinic. Significant investment followed involving extensive refurbishment and culminated in the purchase of the £750,000, 30 tonne open sided MRI scanner early in 2011.

The usual closed MRI scanner found in hospitals is a tunnel like device which the patient enters lying down and remains inside for around 40 minutes until the procedure is complete.

However, the open MRI scanner doesn't have the restrictive sides so it is suitable for those patients with a fear of confined spaces and larger people. It is this diagnostic service that is heavily in demand and a formula that is repeatable across the UK.