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CT Scanning (MRI)


CT stands for Computerised Tomography and the CT scanner can be thought of as a very sophisticated x-ray machine. The CT Scanning Department at the Manchester Royal Infirmary provides a comprehensive 24 hour, 7 days a week service to the Trust. We work closely with all areas of the hospital including the emergency department, wards, outpatient departments, endoscopy and psychiatric services. The service scans approximately 24,000 patients a year.

We currently have two GE Scanners:

  1. An Optima 660 Scanner (installed June 2014)
  2. A LightSpeed VCT (due to be replaced 2015)

The service is staffed by experienced and professional cross sectional radiographers and radiographic helpers (RDAs) who are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about CT examinations.

Procedures Done in the Department

The CT scanning department provides an extensive range of CT scan examinations covering all areas of the body including:

  • Head and Neck
  • Body Scanning (Chest, Abdomen & Pelvis)
  • CT Colonography
  • CT Angiography
  • Extremity Scanning
  • CT Guided Biopsies
  • CT Guided Ablations

Photograph of Equipment

Optima 660 Scanner


Admission Information

The decision to refer a patient for a CT scan can be made by a referring doctor or specialist nurse/ specialist allied health professional (who must be registered as a non-medical referrers). Referrals must be made via ICE. All referral requests are vetted for their suitability by the radiologists and specialist radiographers.

Appointments are given on an inpatient & outpatient basis depending on the needs of the patient.

Please note that we have a busy emergency department, we are a major trauma centre and an acute hospital and as such scanning priority will be given to patients requiring the most urgent medical care. This may mean a delay to a patient's appointment time. We ask that patients are patient as we will get round to scanning them as soon as we possibly can.

Inpatient Waiting Times

Waiting times for inpatients waiting for CT scans are measured monthly.

January 2016 average inpatient waiting time for CT: 1.3 days

70% of the total number of patients were scanned between 0-1 days

80% of the total number of patients were scanned between 0-2 days

Relatives and Escorts

To maintain patient confidentiality and to comply with local rules we only allow relatives into the examination room under exceptional circumstances. In each case, the needs of the patient will be considered and access will be at the discretion of the radiographer performing the examination.

Any Tests/ Preparations Needed

Patients may be asked to undress or remove items prior to their scan. A hospital gown will be provided if required.

Checking for Pregnancy

Ladies who are of child bearing age and are undergoing CT examinations that involve us irradiating their abdomen or pelvis will be asked to attend within the first 10 days of their menstrual cycle unless there is a reason that they cannot fall pregnant, for example, having undergone a hysterectomy. Please contact/ advise your patient to contact the department if they are unsure.


Those patients who do not speak English must be accompanied by a trust interpreter - unfortunately we cannot use family members as interpreters. Outpatients are advised of this in the appointment letter and the interpreter is booked by the booking team when they make a patient's appointment. The relevant ward books the interpreters for all inpatients requiring an interpreter.

CT Colonography Preparation

If undergoing a CT Colonography, the patient may be required to drink a contrast media to highlight their bowel prior to the examination. It is imperative that the instructions sent to the patent in their appointment letter are followed. CT Colonography is a complex test and requires a considerable amount of preparation prior to a patient turning up for an examination. Click here for an information leaflet that can be shared with your patient about the preparation required. All patients will be asked to attend a pre-assessment clinic to check things like kidney function, weight, how to take their medication and to give advice on the diet they are required to follow. Patients will receive their special medication and appointment letter at the pre-assessment clinic.

Contrast Media

You may require an injection of contrast media to highlight their blood vessels and internal organs, if so they will be asked several questions by either a radiographer or radiographic helper prior to the examination. This process allows us to determine whether it is safe for us to give them the contrast media. On rare occasions it may be necessary for us to cancel a CT scan on the day and to ask the patient to return at a later date when they have drank plenty of water 48 hours prior to their scan. This is to ensure their scan is carried out as safely as possible.


We are situated in the Clinical Radiology Department at Manchester Royal Infirmary, ground floor in the Purple Zone.

Opening Hours

The core hours of the CT Scanning Department are 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. We run a comprehensive on-call service outside of these core hours. 8pm until 8am Monday to Friday an on-call radiographer will be called in from home for urgent CT scans. Friday 8pm until Monday 8am a residential radiographer is on site for urgent inpatient or major trauma CT scans.

Contact Details

Inpatient appointment enquiries 0161 276 4676

Outpatient appointment enquiries 0161 276 6083/8601

Report enquiries : 0161 276 4457

CT Scanning Department, Main X-Ray, Purple Zone, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9WL


Lead Radiographer: Stuart Clark

The department is run by a team of Radiographers who rotate through cross sectional imaging

Additional Information

Patients are asked to please let the radiographers know if they are, or may be, pregnant prior to their scan.

If a patient has had a previous reaction to iodinated contrast media, they are asked to inform the radiographers prior to their scan.