Our Services A - Z - Radiology Department
About the service
We provide radiology services at the following locations:
- St Helens Hospital
- Whiston Hospital
- Newton Community Hospital
- Millennium Centre, St Helens
Opening times and contact details can be found below.
Radiology helps to diagnose and treat disease using imaging technology.
There are a variety of imaging techniques that are used in our Trust they include:
- Interventional Radiology – Whiston only
- CT (Computed Tomography)
- DEXA Bone Density Scans – St Helens only
- Mammography – Burney Breast Unit – St Helens only
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
- Nuclear Medicine – Whiston only
- Obstetric Ultrasound
- General Ultrasound
- About the Team
Senior Team Members
There are a lot of people who are here to help you on your journey through Radiology and all play an important role in ensuring you receive the best possible care and experience when you attend the department. You may meet the following member of the team:
Radiologist – Doctors who specialise in Radiology, they analyse the images to diagnose, monitor and treat disease
Diagnostic Radiographers – produce and process images using cutting-edge technology in all modalities.
Sonographers – specialise in using ultrasonic imaging devices producing images/scans.
Nurses – Specialist Radiology nurses who may look after you during your visit
Assistant Practitioners – undertake a selection of x-ray images.
RDAs (Radiology Department Assistants) – Assist the clinical team with day to day duties.
Support Workers – will assist you during your visit and help the clinical team.
Administration Team – receptionists, appointment clerks.
- Health & Safety
The use of X-rays allows physicians to look inside the body to diagnose an injury or illness. When done for appropriate situations, X-rays are safe and beneficial.
It is important that X-rays are not misused or overused because over a lifetime, a person may be exposed to a fairly large amount of cumulative radiation. It is therefore important that the benefit of each X-ray test be considered before it is done. There is strict legislation governing the use of X-rays with all hospitals. The legislation is called the The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000 known as IR(ME)R 2000. Procedures are in place in all departments to ensure that patients, staff and visitors are safe and that no one receives an unnecessary dose of radiation.
Radiation can also be harmful to the unborn child. Women undergoing some x-ray procedures may be asked if there is any possibility of pregnancy. If there is then, the procedure may be deferred or an alternative method of imaging considered.
In certain circumstances it is necessary to perform the examination in pregnant patients. In this situation the radiation dose is kept to a minimum consistent with the diagnostic requirements.
Female patients should inform staff if they are breastfeeding. Some radioactive materials can deposit radioactivity in in the mothers milk and be passed on to the baby.
Patients will be advised to stop breastfeeding for up to 48 hours.
Some patients are not suitable to be scanned on an MRI scanner. These include patients who have pacemakers, or have had recent surgery where stents, metal clips or devices have been inserted into the body. Also the bore or tunnel of the scanner is a specific size, so not all patients can comfortably fit in the scanner.
All patients are vetted prior to going into the scanner to ensure they do not have a non MRI compatible device with in.
- Radiology Procedures
The most common form of radiology examination is the X-ray. A small burst of radiation is directed a specific area of the body. The beam of radiation is absorbed by varying degrees depending on the type of tissue it is traveling through. It then hits on a special digital image recording plate which is processed to reveal an image.
Computerised Tomography (CT)
CT uses radiation to generate images. The scanner consists of an x-ray tube and a series of detectors that rotate about the patient. The patient lies on a table which moves through the middle of the scanner acquiring images.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MR imaging uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures
Ultrasound works by the probe or transducer being placed on the skin over the area to be examined. This emits pulses of sound waves. As they pass through the body some of the sound waves are partially deflected back to the transducer, these returning sound waves are processed and transformed into a digital image
Angiography and Fluoroscopy
The equipment used for these imaging techniques uses radiation and a digital detector that produces real time images. For angiography contrast is injected into the blood vessel to be investigated. A series of images are taken during the injection to look for narrowing or blockages.
In nuclear medicine imaging, radiopharmaceuticals are taken internally, for example intravenously or orally. Then, external detectors (gamma cameras) capture and form images from the radiation emitted by the radiopharmaceuticals. This process is unlike a diagnostic X-ray where external radiation is passed through the body to form an image.
Dexa / Bone Densitometry Scanning
Dexa scans are used to measure the amount calcium of bones to determine how strong they are. A short burst of radiation is passed through the body. Some is absorbed by the tissues and some passes through to a detector. The detector uses this information to calculate the bone density.
- Location & Opening Hours
St Helens Hospital – Radiology Department – Ground Floor – Orange Zone
- 08.30am to 8.00pm - Monday and Tuesday
- 08.30am to 6.00pm - Wednesday to Friday
Whiston Hospital – Radiology Department – Lower Ground – Red Zone
- 09.00am to 8.00pm - Monday to Friday
Whiston Hospital – Emergency Radiology Department – Lower Ground – Red Zone
- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including bank holidays
Whiston Hospital – Outpatients X-Ray Department – Level One – Yellow Zone
- 9.00am to 5.00pm - Monday to Friday
Radiography (X-Rays) – Open Access for GP X-Ray referrals only
For GP X-Rays only, you can attend the sites below at any time during the hours stated:
Whiston site – Lower Ground – Red Zone
- 09.00am to 7.00pm - Monday to Sunday
Whiston site – Outpatients X-Ray Department – Level One – Yellow Zone -
- 09.00am to 4.30pm - Monday to Friday
Whiston site – Emergency Radiology Department – Lower Ground – Red Zone
- 4.30pm to 7.00pm - Monday to Friday
St Helens Site – Ground Floor – Orange Zone
Opening times for GP X-Rays only
- 09.00am to 7.30pm - Monday and Tuesday
- 09.00am to 6.00pm - Wednesday to Friday
Millennium Centre, St Helens
- 09.00am to 6.30pm - Monday – Friday
- 09.00am to 4.30pm - Saturday and Sunday
Newton Community Hospital
- Monday to Friday 9.00am-4.30pm
- Contact Details
General Queries - 0151 430 1309
Plain Film Radiography (X-Rays) - 0151 430 1194
CT, MRI, Fluoroscopy and Ultrasound - 0151 676 5756
Nuclear Medicine - 0151 430 1550
- Current Waiting Times
Current approximate waiting times for Radiology modalities below:
CT (Computed Tomograph): 6 to 7 weeks
CT (Computed Tomography) – Cardiac scans: 16 to 17 weeks
DEXA Scans: 4 to 5 weeks
Fluoroscopy: 2 to 3 weeks
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): 3 to 4 weeks
Nuclear Medicine: 2 to 3 weeks
Nuclear Medicine – Cardiac Scans: 36 to 37 weeks
X-Rays: Open Access for GP referrals
General Ultrasound: 17 to 18 weeks
From 2 May 2023
- Information Leaflets
Title - Having a CT ColonographyDescription - This leaflet aims to inform you on having a Computed Tomography scan to look at your large bowel (CT Colonography). It explains how the test is done, what to expect, and what the possible risks are. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to speak to your doctor or CT staff.
Title - Having a Hickman LineDescription - This leaflet has been given to you to help you understand your Hickman line and has been prepared by the staff in the X-Ray department at Whiston Hospital. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to know about alternative treatment after you have read this, please speak to the specialist team who referred you for your Hickman line.
Title - Having a Percutaneous Biliary DrainageDescription - This leaflet tells you about the procedure known as Percutaneous Biliary Drainage. It explains what is involved and what the possible risks are. It is not meant to be a substitute for informed discussion between you and your doctor, but can act as a starting point for such a discussion.
Title - Having a Percutaneous Liver BiopsyDescription - This leaflet tells you about having a Percutaneous Liver Biopsy. It explains what is involved and what the possible risks are. It is not meant to replace informed discussion between you and your doctor but can act as a starting point for such discussions. If you have any questions about the procedure, please ask the doctor who has referred you or the department which is going to perform it.
Title - Having a Radiological Inserted Gastrostomy (RIG)Description - This leaflet tells you about having a radiological inserted gastrostomy (RIG). It explains what is involved and what the possible risks are. It is not meant to replace informed discussion between you and your doctor but can act as a starting point for such discussions.
Title - Having a Trans-Jugular Liver BiopsyDescription - This leaflet tells you about having a trans-jugular liver biopsy. It explains what is involved and what the possible risks are. It is not meant to replace informed discussion between you and your doctor, but can act as a starting point for such discussions. If you have any questions about the procedure, please ask the doctor who has referred you or the department which is going to perform it.
Title - Having an AngiogramDescription - This leaflet tells you about having an angiogram. It explains what is involved and what the possible risks are. It is not meant to replace informed discussion between you and your doctor, but can act as a starting point for such discussions. If you have any questions about the procedure, please ask the doctor who has referred you or the department which is going to perform it.
Title - Having an IVC FilterDescription - This leaflet tells you about having an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter inserted. It explains what is involved and what the possible risks are. It is not meant to replace informed discussion between you and your doctor but can act as a starting point for such discussions.
Title - Your Chest x-rayDescription - This leaflet explains to you about having a chest x-ray.
- Relevant Links
Page last updated on 03rd May 2023