A new £300,000 ultrasound suite has been opened at Bradford Royal Infirmary meaning reduced waiting time for patients needing scans.

The suite took three months to complete and has increased the number of scanning rooms from two to five.

Bradford City co-chairman Mark Lawn was invited to cut the ribbon yesterday to mark the official opening.

The money for the refurbishment has come from Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and will ensure a quicker turnround of patients.

Already staff are seeing about four times more out-patients than usual.

Virginia Lodge, the ultrasound superintendent for BRI’s radiology department, said before the suite opened, out-patient and casualty patients had to be slotted in between in-patient scans but now everyone can be seen in “a more orderly way”.

She added: “It used to be quite chaotic. These rooms have been something we have needed for a long time.

“The majority of in-patients will now be seen within a few hours of scans being requested which means a quicker diagnosis and them being managed better.”

And she said that should also help free more beds because it will have the capacity to cope with more patients than before.

Patients needing invasive procedures such as biopsies and drainages will also be seen quicker now.

A new teaching room provides improved training facilities including a video link which means sonographers and consultants can watch trainees scanning patients and can give feedback after the scan without having to stand in the suite watching the procedure over the shoulder.

“All in all, the new suite will revolutionise how we work. Patients will be scanned quicker and urgent referrals from A&E will be dealt with more speedily,” said Mrs Lodge.

Other additions to the refurbished unit include a bigger room for staff to write up reports, a staff toilet and three patient toilets, one of which will have a baby changing area.

Toshiba, which supplies about half of the suite’s equipment, has also given the hospital seven decontamination units to clean probes used for internal scans. The units are each valued at £20,000.