Trusts to get new screening machines

Author: Jo Carlowe
Trusts to get new screening machines

Some 78 NHS trusts are to receive new equipment for cancer screening. 

The new machines aim to improve screening and early diagnosis of cancer, and have been announced as part of the government’s commitment to ensuring 55,000 more people survive cancer each year.

Last month, the prime minister announced £200 million in funding for new cancer screening equipment. The 78 trusts will receive funding over the next two years to replace, refurbish and upgrade CT and MRI scanners (bringing in alternatives with lower radiation levels), and breast screening imaging and assessment equipment. 

It is hoped that by replacing and upgrading machines efficiency will be improved as the equipment will be easier to use, quicker to scan and construct images, and will reduce the need for re-scanning. Many of the machines will also be enabled for artificial intelligence. 

Each trust has been allocated funding for new machines based on an assessment of local infrastructure and local population need. They will all contribute to the NHS Long Term Plan’s goal of catching three-quarters of all cancers earlier when they are easier to treat.

Commenting, health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said: “This new state-of-the-art equipment for 78 trusts across England will ensure doctors and clinicians can help even more people survive a cancer diagnosis and stop the disease as early as possible.

“It’s mission critical that the technology our NHS uses to prevent and diagnose cancer is brought into the 21st century. We have backed the roll-out of these new machines with £200 million in funding, as part of our Long Term Plan, backed by an extra £33.9 billion a year.”

Cally Palmer, national cancer director at NHS England, said: “Cancer survival is at a record high thanks to better prevention, earlier diagnosis and world-leading treatments in the NHS.

“This major investment in the best modern scanning technology will benefit patients in every part of England, helping us to achieve the NHS Long Term Plan’s ambitions of catching tens of thousands more cancers earlier when they are easier to treat, saving 55,000 more lives every year.”