RADIOGRAPHERS at the Orthopaedic have been praised for helping to alleviate patient anxiety.

The MRI team at the Gobowen-based hospital have been hailed in the latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) report for their work around reducing anxiety for patients having scans.

The MRI scanning department has introduced a number of techniques to help patients who may suffer with claustrophobia when undergoing a scan.

A scanner uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of the inside of the body and the results can be used to help diagnose conditions, plan treatment and assess how effective treatment has been.

Dawn Collins, lead MRI radiographer, said: “An MRI scan can be extremely nerve-wracking for a patient who experience claustrophobia so as a team; we took a number of steps to help these patients.

“Firstly, we worked with other clinicians to update the referral form we receive which now features a question about whether the patient suffers with claustrophobia.

“This has been extremely beneficial to us, as we can now prepare for that patients appointment by sending them a leaflet with coping strategies and also book them onto the wider of our two scanners, which has an opening of 70cm and a shorter length bore.”

The use of prism glasses and posters for patients were two tools highlighted in the report as outstanding practice by the CQC.

Dawn added: “Prism glasses are offered to claustrophobic patients and enable the patient to see outside the machine during their scan – whether they want to see a friend or family member or posters that are in the room.

“We find the glasses are an extremely effective tool as they allow patients to relax and stay calm.

“The posters were designed by the team in Medical Illustration and have been strategically positioned to reduce the sense of feeling claustrophobic.”

The CQC report for RJAH was published in February after an inspection back in November 2018.

Dawn said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be recognised for the work we’re doing to improve experience for our claustrophobic patients.

“The whole team have worked extremely hard and I am very proud of them all.”