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Manchester Royal Infirmary PET-MR Scanner Suite

By December 1, 2016December 6th, 2018Healthcare, Project Portfolio

MTX were awarded the contract to design and construct a scanner suite to house a new SIGNA PET-MR scanner. Prior to being awarded the contract MTX were heavily involved in the design and planning stage working closely with all parties involved in developing the scheme and in addressing the many logistical and technical aspects that had to be overcome.

The Requirements

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust had a requirement for a state of the art facility to house a SIGNA PET-MR scanner at Manchester Royal Infirmary. MTX were awarded this contract in January 2016 and The SIGNA PET-MR scanner was to be the first of its kind in the North West.

On behalf of this project the University of Manchester was awarded funds from Dementia Platform UK to cover the cost and installation of the SIGNA PET-MR scanner, with the overall goal for it to be primarily used for Dementia based research.

The Solution

The SIGNA PET-MR scanner is housed in its own dedicated scanner suite alongside three modern and bespoke treatment rooms, a research office, a consulting room, an equipment room serving the scanner, a fully equipped radio pharmacy room used for the drawing up of radio traces and a control room to oversee all procedures within a protective environment.

The building in which the scanner room is situated was built in 2009. It was purpose built with an area of shelled space to be occupied in the future. Building works commenced in the shelled space on the ground floor and the first task MTX had to overcome was the reinforcement of the existing flooring. This had to be completed as the current flooring was too weak to hold the 8 tonne steel scanner base. The team first cut out sections of the floor making a large hole where the scanner would be positioned and then filled it with thicker reinforced concrete.


Main Considerations

The main considerations MTX faced was the weight and size of the scanner and manoeuvring it into position. As the scanner was delivered complete, transportation into the building was restricted. It was first intended that the scanner would be brought in through a rear entrance and along a number of corridors, however it became apparent early in the design phase that the corridors were too narrow. In addition to this in order to first get the scanner into the building the team would have had to remove a fire door and part of the ceiling before immediately reconstructing them due to Fire Safety regulations. In order to minimise possible disruption, the team sought out an alternative solution, by removing a set of front entrance doors, which reduced transportation time by 50%.

The scanner suite was built with a steel magnetic shield incorporated into the brick work. This was due to a magnetic field from the scanner reaching the adjacent public corridor. This was a Health and Safety risk due to the possibility of people in the corridor with pacemakers. The suite was built with an access hatch a hole in one of the walls in order to get the scanner into place. Once in position and the magnetic shield was tested, the wall was then built back up with reinforced concrete and steel.

Other challenges that MTX faced included noise pollution and radiation. The scanner suite is surrounded by busy administration offices as well as treatment rooms. It was built with high density block work, lead protection and ground insulation in order to protect the environment around it. An RF Cage made out of copper was also merged into the building works to prevent any interference from radio or mobile signals. The equipment room, built alongside the scanner suite, required specialist chillers to be installed as there were high heat gains present which needed to be controlled and regulated.

Works commenced onsite in May 2016 with the scanner arriving and installed in September 2016. The new facility was officially handed over to the Trust in October 2016, well within MTX’s timescale and scope of works.

What they said

“MTX have recently completed a state-of-the-art PET / MR Scanner Suite on a design and build contract for their client; Engie Buildings Limited at the Central Manchester University Hospital Trust for studies in to dementia. Their pre-construction team provided design leadership from the outset and a proactive attitude towards solving difficult technical problems which included the use of an electrically powered robotic pecker inside the building to break out an existing ground floor slab in a live Hospital environment. The project was managed diligently throughout the construction phase, with strong relationships built between all of the stakeholders involved. This created a positive atmosphere teamwork approach to the project and has resulted in its successful completion, with the expectations of the users being exceeded.”

Andrew Hopwood MCIOB
Project Manager – Consulting, Lendlease