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X-ray technology in the 21st century

If you have ever had the misfortune of breaking a bone then you are aware of the joy of inner city A&E departments. But what if instead you could go to your local nurse led minor injuries unit and get an X-ray which can be examined by a radiologist elsewhere.

Around half the hospitals in England now use a digital system which allows radiologists and doctors to access all images, including CT, MRI and X-ray, on a computer screen.

Doctors elsewhere can view images immediately and get a quick second opinion from another radiologist in their office.

St Marys hospital in London have been using this technology for almost a year. Sr Deborah Cunningham, director of the Radiology Department said the minor injuries unit based in another hospital was “really appreciated” by the local population who didn’t want to use the big, rowdy A7E department.

“The nurses can read X-rays but if there is anything they don’t understand they can ring up and ask us what’s wrong and we can look at it immediately. that is going to be increasing as major injuries are dealt with in the main A&E and minor units may not have a radiologist present,” she said.