From the 1st July 2020, Singleton Hospital will host an Alliance Medical Limited (AML) mobile unit to carry out PET/CT scans for Swansea and South West Wales patients.
The mobile Positron Emission Tomography – Computed Tomography (located outside Crush Hall at Singleton Hospital on Thursdays/Fridays) will provide PET/CT scanning for Swansea Bay and Hywel Dda University Health Boards. The service will also be available to some patients from within the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board area.
A PET/CT scan is a nuclear medicine imaging technique that produces a three dimensional image or picture of functional processes in the body. The purpose of a PET scan is to improve diagnosis and treatment planning for certain indications in cancer.
PET/CT is a non-invasive imaging technique that combines information from two different modalities. PET provides information about functional and metabolic cellular activity, while a CT scanner gives precise anatomical localisation.
The procedure usually involves injecting a radiopharmaceutical into the body. The radiopharmaceutical can be a sugar (glucose), an amino acid, or a vitamin. The radiopharmaceutical is taken up and accumulates in metabolically active cells (such as malignant cells), and emits gamma rays detected by the PET and CT scanner to produce colour-coded images of the body demonstrating the cellular activity of both normal and malignant tissue.
Images acquired from both PET and CT devices can be combined into a single superimposed image (PET/CT). This image provides important diagnostic information as well as assessing the effectiveness of treatment in cancer. The radiopharmaceuticals are then passed out of the body in the urine or bowel movement.
Until now, South West Wales patients have had to travel to Cardiff to get a PET/CT scan, but thanks to an all-Wales collaborative between clinicians, health boards, the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSCC) and Welsh Government, travelling hours will now be greatly reduced.
The WHSCC was established in 2010 to “ensure that the population of Wales has fair and equitable access to the full range of specialised services”.
It will help reduce waiting times, as well as ensuring the easy transfer of scans and scan reports between different doctors and hospital sites in more convenient locations for patients.
"It is my endeavour to bring modern diagnostic services to the approximately 1 million population of South West Wales. PET/CT is the first of several such changes to afford in nuclear medicine for the benefit our patients."
“This is great news for the patients of South West Wales to have easier access to this type of scanning at difficult times in their lives.”
“We are delighted to have been able to commission a mobile PET scanner, based at Singleton Hospital, that will improve access for patients from south west Wales and increase overall capacity and sustainability for scans for the whole of south Wales and south Powys.”
“This is an important development for the expansion of Positron Emission Tomography – Computed Tomography (PET/CT) services in Wales. Patients in south west Wales will now have improved access to a critical diagnostic tool enabling quicker diagnosis which we expect to significantly improve the quality of both cancer and non-cancer treatments. We are active partners with the WHSSC PET/CT Strategic Programme Board and proud to be involved in the delivery of this key service.”