The UK Department of Health has signed a contract with a private sector provider to supply around 48,000 positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scans in England’s north east over the next five years.
The deal with Alliance Medical means patients in the region will be able to access the latest cancer diagnosis technology.
The PET/CT scanners should be available in the next few months, with facilities provided at both the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle and The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
Health minister Ben Bradshaw said: “This is great news for the North East region.
“With better technology and faster access to diagnostic scans, this scheme will help to ensure that patients have the best possible chance of surviving cancer.”
Ian Dalton, chief executive of North East Strategic Health Authority, added: “The new service has many benefits for patients with cancer – they will be able to have their scan done locally, saving them from having to travel long distances, they will be seen quickly and have a prompt diagnosis, and ultimately, their chances of beating cancer will be improved.”
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“Are the figures correct? Is it 48 THOUSAND scanners?” – J.O., Japan
The figure of 48,000 refers to the number of scans, not the number of scanners. Thanks, Ed.
“What is the cost per CT-PET scan?” – Antonio Pio Masciotra, Italy
Antonio – we put your question to Alliance Medical and a spokesperson gave us this answer:
“Individual diagnostic prices are commercially sensitive as procurement of the Commercial Directorate’s Phase 2 contracts is still underway and disclosure of this information could prejudice ongoing negotiations. As such, we are not able to release this information into the public domain.”