Published Wed, 2011-03-02 17:54; updated 2 years ago.

A state-of-the-art scanning suite costing more than £2 million has been unveiled at Sandwell Hospital.

The computed tomography (CT) scanner, which takes images of body tissue, was officially opened by the Trust’s chief operating officer Richard Kirby and the chair of Sandwell Hospital’s League of Friends, Janet Dearn.

The £2.2 million suite promises to provide a more comfortable experience for patients nervous of the procedure because it works faster, thereby reducing the amount of time they are on the table.

The larger ‘bore’, or hole, is also a benefit for those patients who may be slightly claustrophobic.

Dr Claire Keaney, consultant radiologist, said: "I can imagine it would be a very scary experience. We want to make it as comfy and relaxing for the patient as possible."

The faster speed at which the scanner operates also means fast-moving tissue can also be imaged in real time without the need of medication to slow the heart rate.

Consultant physicist Dr Adam Lovick said: "The resolution is very high and the scanner itself is very quick. It is probably the best scanner on the market at the moment."

Technological advances also mean that the amount of radiation required to acquire a scan has reduced by almost half, so patients are exposed to smaller doses.

The machine replaces a scanner that came to Sandwell in 2001.

As part of the overall revamp, a special ‘cannulation’ chair costing £3,500 was donated by the hospital’s League of Friends.

Dr Keaney concluded: "Everyone is so immensely proud of how we have managed to achieve a much, much better CT suite."