Revamped Radiology unit relaunched on World Radiography Day

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BRADFORD Teaching Hospitals launched key improvements to its Radiology department on World Radiography Day, following a highly successful appeal from Bradford Hospitals’ Charity (BHC).

Three years ago, Consultant Paediatric Radiologist Dr LeeAnne Elliott, Radiology colleagues and BHC launched the Rays a Smile appeal to transform the Trust’s Radiology department into warm and relaxing spaces for children and young people.

Three years on, the appeal and the work it promised have been completed, and what a difference they’ve both made!

Thanks to a host of hospital and community-based events, more than £125,000 has been raised to give our x-ray, ultrasound, MRI, CT, and fluoroscopy rooms at Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital the most amazing makeover, transforming them into vibrant, welcoming and soothing spaces.

The project was completed in several phases. The work to our waiting areas has been themed in either yellow (paediatric) or lilac (adult), and decorated with a woodland theme and large images of the stunning Yorkshire countryside. 

Bluetooth speakers and, where appropriate, sky-themed lighting panels were added to imaging rooms , which are located in a basement corridor at BRI with little or no natural light – creating a relaxing environment.

A ‘snuggle room’, allowing parents to soothe babies to sleep before scans and avoiding the need for a general anaesthetic, has also proven popular since it was launched, and helps us provide a better service to our very youngest patients.

Snuggle room – Before
Snuggle room – After

And ‘Relax and View’ machines, which play films and videos while young patients and adults undergo MRI scans, alongside sound systems are now also available to relax patients and make these scans – which can take up to an hour to perform – easier to tolerate.

The final phase of the work focused on providing clear and attractive wayfinding, and has also proven a huge hit. From the moment they arrive, bright and clear signs now greet patients, visitors and staff and guide them to colour-coded waiting and clinical areas. Exits and entrances are also easy to identify, avoiding anxiety or confusion.

Dr LeeAnne Elliott, Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Consultant Paediatric Radiologist, said: “Three years ago a small group of us met to imagine how we could improve Radiology for children and young people, in particular to organise our new wayfinding and waiting areas so that patients will feel much more relaxed when visiting us.

“The charity backed us with the Rays a Smile for Radiology appeal and all the Radiology staff worked really hard in order to raise that money. We abseiled, we sky-dived, we ran marathons, we climbed mountains, and took part in the annual Bradford Dragon Boat Festival to raise the money.

“We were well supported by all of the community in Bradford, who have been amazing, and I’d like to thank them for that.

“The department looks and feels so much more friendly, and I am hoping that patients and visitors will feel much more relaxed.”

Trust Project Officer, Samantha Hunter, and our Estates and Facilities team also moved mountains to deliver the best possible results, alongside Graphic Designer Tony Stead, from Dekka Graphics. 

Almost all patients treated at Bradford Teaching Hospitals, either as an inpatient or outpatient, are referred for imaging, and more than 20,000 children and young people are imaged throughout the Trust each year.

It is believed that a brighter, more child-friendly environment will benefit all patients, including some adults who find imaging difficult or stressful. Relaxed patients find any visit to Radiology easier and often speed up the time spent being scanned. 

In addition, the improvements have made the department a nicer space for staff to work in. 

Hayley Collis, Head of Fundraising, Bradford Hospitals’ Charity, added: “The whole team in Radiology and Estates and Facilities have been amazing and really stepped up to the mark when it came to fundraising and negotiating with suppliers.

“Huge thanks must also go to the people of Bradford for their support. It’s hard to single out any one of our fundraisers but, in particular, we’d like to thank 12-year-old Molly-Mae Windle, Ambassador for our Rays a Smile appeal, who supported the appeal in many ways including starring in the launch film, running in the Bradford City Run, as well as hosting her Facebook raffles.

Molly-Mae in one of the revamped rooms

“We’d also like to give a special mention to Bingley Grammar School, who were truly inspired by our ambitions to help young children and raised a staggering £9,061 via their annual sponsored walk.

“The collaborative work for this project began on November 9, 2017 and has been proof that good working relationships can build fantastic projects. It marks a special day to celebrate the relaunch of the department , three years to the day since the Rays a Smile appeal was launched on World Radiology Day!”

World Radiography Day is celebrated on 8 November each year, and marks the anniversary of the discovery of x-radiation by Wilhelm Roentgen in 1895.