SPECIALIST scans for patients with heart failure have become available in NHS Forth Valley thanks to the introduction of a service.

Patients can receive cardiac MRI scans at Larbert with the introduction of the service, rather than having to travel to hospitals in places such as Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Dr Lindsey Norton, consultant radiologist at NHS Forth Valley, said: “The aim of the new cardiac MRI service is to provide high quality imaging for patients in the Forth Valley area which will complement the pre-existing cardiology service.

“MRI plays an important role in diagnosis and management decisions in many cardiac conditions so a local service is a great asset.

“A recent success saw patients being scanned locally prior to urgent implantable cardiac defibrillator insertion.

“Previously this often would have required transfers to and from another hospital and an extended inpatient stay before the device could be inserted.”

Staff at the radiology department have been working to secure a top-class imaging device, supported by colleagues from the West of Scotland Regional Heart and Lung Centre based at the Golden Jubilee University National Hospital in Clydebank.

Dr Fiona Shearer, consultant cardiologist, added: “The new service has hit the ground running with all the test scans completed and excellent quality images being acquired.

“We have a high demand for the service and patients are very positive about the service now being available locally.

“There is no doubt this service will further optimise the care of our cardiac patients and ensure we are up at the front of the pack in terms of standard of care.”