New £4million MRI Unit at Childrens Hospital officially opened


A new £4million MRI Unit at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children has been officially opened by Health Minister Michelle O’Neill.

The MRI scanner became fully operational in March 2016 and since then 1,448 children have been scanned, roughly 30 children per week. This has eased the pressure on the Royal Victoria Hospital’s scanners and reduced waiting lists for paediatric MRI.

Welcoming this new addition to paediatric services at the hospital, the Minister said, “This MRI scanner has been a long time in planning and I am delighted to see that it is now up and running.”

Funding of more than £1.5million was raised by the Children’s MRI Scanner Appeal, which is a collective of four local charities.

The Health Minister thanked those who helped to raise funds for the scanner and added, “We must continue to make the health and well-being of people here better. We need to work together to deliver the best possible health outcomes for the people we serve and to tackle the inequalities which exist.”

Belfast Trust Chief Executive, Dr Michael McBride said, “On behalf of Belfast Trust I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the huge input and generosity of the charities involved and the contribution made by so many, including schools, business, community groups, a large number of families, the public and of course the funding and support from the Health and Social Care Board.

“In particular, the Trust would like to sincerely thank the four charities that make up the Children's MRI Scanner Appeal - Helping Hand, Carrickmannon MRI Scanner Children’s Appeal, NI Children’s Cancer Unit Fund and Children’s Heartbeat Trust.”