NHS Lanarkshire’s radiology department continued to diagnose and scan thousands of patients over the last few months with the help of the NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital (LJH).
The NHS LJH played a crucial role in providing much needed space for the continuation of NHS services during the pandemic. NHS Lanarkshire’s radiology department managed to see over seven thousand CT scan patients and 760 breast clinic patients at the temporary hospital from September 2020 until the end of March 2021.
NHS Lanarkshire Deputy Diagnostic Service Manager, Lesley Sharp, said: “With restrictions in place at our hospitals, we were grateful for the capacity provided at the Louisa Jordan Hospital, as well as NHS Golden Jubilee.
“This has allowed us to see as many patients face-to-face as possible, detecting and diagnosing illnesses at an early stage which helps save lives. We were able to use the CT scanner pods at the NHS Louisa Jordan three days a week and the breast ultrasound clinic for the under forties once a week.
“Like a lot of NHS services, we had to pause our service during the first lockdown last March. This created a big backlog, but thanks to the Louisa Jordan we have been able to see a large number of patients which is helping us get back on track. We would certainly have struggled to cope with the demand without it.
“The response of all our staff was great with everyone working well as a team. Our radiographers, consultant radiologists and advanced practitioner radiographers have all been providing a service at the Louisa Jordan. Some of our staff were working long shifts and weekends to see as many patients as possible and help clear the backlog ,and reduce waiting times.”
Although outpatients and diagnostic appointments have ended at NHS Louisa Jordan, vaccines continue running at the SEC Hydro. The services will continue across the three acute hospital sites in NHS Lanarkshire as well as the Golden Jubilee.
Ms Sharp explained: “When we started to remobilise, our service still operated on our acute sites so we have managed the transition well now that Louisa Jordan is no longer available. The biggest challenge is space within the department. We can see around 70% of our pre-Covid capacity to ensure physical distancing as well as a safe environment for patients and staff.”
NHS Lanarkshire Radiographer Jenn Hogg believes there were a number of benefits to being able to use the NHS Louisa Jordan.
Ms Hogg said: “The Louisa Jordan provided a great opportunity to learn new equipment and to meet and work with radiographers with a wide knowledge and skill base, who I would probably never have met.
“While I am glad the Louisa Jordan didn’t get used for its intended purpose, it was a great way to allow patients to access vital services while taking the strain off the main hospitals. It was also, in a strange way, a nice change of scenery during lockdown, providing a different focus and different conversation.”