SG is a young dynamic organisation, merging the expertise of Consultant Radiologists, General Practitioners, Engineers, Business Development and Service Delivery Specialists who, with their combined intimate knowledge of the health care industry in England, have created a service able to respond to the current needs of NHS and Independent Sector Providers alike.
SG was established in response to the NHS call for additional providers of healthcare services for NHS patients, bringing care closer to home and offering greater patient choice.
SG has Any Qualified Provider (AQP) contracts from several regional NHS authorities across England and is actively delivering a Community MRI service through these contracts since October 2013. SG take the patient through the whole journey with our inhouse team from booking the appointment, completing the scan and issuing the report. All reports are completed by our Consultant Radiologists who are UK qualified and are substantive NHS consultants and based in the UK.
Having an MRI scan
What is an MRI scan and what is it used for?
MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. An MRI scan uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create pictures, on a computer, of tissues, organs and other structures inside your body. It is a safe and painless test. It is useful for all sorts of reasons where other tests (such as X-rays) do not give enough information required. MRI is a very safe way of producing images that can be used to diagnose medical conditions.
Your referrer (usually a doctor, physiotherapist or other medical professional) has decided an MRI scan is the best option for you to diagnose or assess your condition. On the day of your scan you will usually be able to eat and drink as normal and take
any medicine you have been prescribed – if there are any special requirements, we will discuss this with you when you book your appointment.
How does an MRI scan work?
When you are in an MRI scanner what happens?
- Your body contains millions of hydrogen atoms A strong magnetic field aligns particles called protons which are within the hydrogen atoms. All the protons line up in parallel to the magnetic field, like tiny magnets. (Normally the millions of protons all lie in random directions.)
- Then, short bursts of radio waves are sent from the scanner into your body. The radio waves knock the protons from their position.
- When the burst of radio waves stops, the protons realign back into place. As they do so they emit radio signals. The protons in different tissues of the body realign at different speeds. Therefore, the signal emitted from different body tissues varies. So, for example, softer tissues can be distinguished from harder tissues on the basis of the signals sent.
- These signals are detected by a receiving device in the scanner.
The receiving device transmits the signals to a computer. The computer creates a picture based on the radio signals emitted from the body.
What to expect when you arrive for your scan?
One of our specialist team will meet you and help you to prepare for your scan. We will complete a safety checklist with you and will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. You will be asked to sign a consent form before your scan.
You will need to remove all metal objects such as clothing with zips, jewellery, hair grips and piercings before entering the scan room because of the powerful magnet that is used to scan.
Credit cards are also affected by the magnet. A locker will be provided for these and other valuables. As makeup can contain fine metallic particles which affect the pictures, please do not wear eye makeup if you are having a scan of your head or eyes. You will also need to remove any drug administration patches for the duration of the scan because they may contain metal or affect the dose delivered during the scan.
If you are wearing clothes that contain metal you may be asked to remove them and put on a gown for the duration of the scan. You may prefer to arrive in clothes which do not contain metal for example clothing without any zips, buttons or metallic thread.
A radiographer will position you on a comfortable couch, which slides into the scanner. You will be asked to keep still while we scan you and produce your images. The scanner is very noisy when it is taking pictures so we will provide you with ear protection. Examples of the types of noises you may experience during your scan can be heard on the video link below.
We will if you like play music through headphones
Watch a video of our service to see what to expect
The MRI scanner is like a tunnel about 1.5 metres long, surrounded by a large circular magnet. You lie on a couch which then slides into the scanner. A ‘receiving device’, like an aerial, is placed behind, or around, the part of the body being examined. This detects the tiny radio signals emitted from your body. When each ‘picture’ is being taken you need to keep still for a few minutes, otherwise the scan picture may be blurred.
The scan itself is painless. The whole procedure can take between 15-40 minutes. It may be a little uncomfortable lying still on the couch for this time but we will do our best to make you as comfortable as we can.
The radiographer sits in the control room next to the scanner and observes through the window. However, you can talk to them, usually via an intercom, and you will be observed at all times on a monitor. As mentioned above the scanner is noisy so you will be given some headphones or earplugs to protect your ears from the noise. Music is pipped through the headphones.
Your referrer should receive your scan report within a week. We advise that you should make an appointment with your referrer to discuss the results. The radiographer will not be able to give you your results on the day of your scan as the images need to be studied and a report written by a specialist doctor.