MRI Scan

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) provides detailed images of the organs and soft tissue in the body. Using magnetics and radio waves, an MRI scan produces high quality two- and three-dimensional images of the inside of the body. It is suitable and widely used to view organs, muscles, tendons, ligaments, soft tissues and bones.

Medical Imaging Partnership has a huge amount of experience in delivering high-quality MRI scans which are interpreted and reported by specialist radiologists with considerable experience.


You may have concerns or questions about having an MRI scan at Medical Imaging Partnership and we have produced a list of Frequently Asked Questions which we hope you will find useful and will help you feel confident and comfortable.

They aren’t designed to replace an informed discussion with your clinician before your appointment. However, we will be able to answer any questions or concerns about your scan when you arrive for your appointment.

An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan is a painless examination. It uses radio frequency waves and strong magnetic fields to create a series of detailed pictures showing ‘slices’ of the body. These images allow Clinicians to examine almost any area of your body, as well as monitor the effectiveness of previous therapies. An MRI scan can diagnose problems that cannot be assessed satisfactorily with other imaging methods such as x-ray, ultrasound, or CT (computed tomography) scanning.

As far as is known at present, an MRI is an extremely safe examination. It does not involve the use of radiation. You are placed in a very powerful magnetic field. If you have any small pieces of metal inside your body, you should inform the radiographer as in some cases you may not be able to have the examination.

If you have ever had metal fragments, in your eyes, you may need an x-ray before the MRI is done to prove that there are no fragments remaining. If you have a pacemaker, metal heart valves or a metallic clip in your brain, there is a risk that these may be affected during an MRI scan, and a different examination will need to be arranged instead.

For female patients, if you are or might be pregnant, you must make sure the Clinician referring you or a member of the MRI team in the radiology department knows as soon as possible. MRI scans are not advisable in early pregnancy unless there are special circumstances.

Before your appointment is scheduled we will have asked you a number of questions (including the above) to ensure it is safe for you to have the scan.

You do not usually need to prepare for a routine MRI scan at Medical Imaging Partnership. There are some MRI examinations which do require preparation and this will be confirmed at the time of scheduling and in your appointment confirmation letter. Unless you have been told otherwise, you can eat and drink normally before and afterwards.

Yes, subject to infection control restrictions. However, for safety reasons, they will not be able to accompany you into the MRI scanner room unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Please follow the arrival instructions as set out in your appointment confirmation letter.

During your appointment, you will be looked after by a small specialised team, led by a radiographer who will carry out the scan.

A member of the MRI team will ask you to confirm some details, including your identity and that you are happy for the MRI to go ahead. They will also go through the safety questionnaire with you, and you will be asked to sign it. Before signing the patient questionnaire and consent form, you need to understand what an MRI is, what to expect, and any possible risks.

For more information about Informed Consent please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/consent-to-treatment/

Before your scan, you may need to remove some items of clothing and leave any jewellery (except your wedding ring), cash, keys, credit cards, watch, etc in a secure locker.

The MRI team will show you into the scanner room and will help you into the correct position on the couch. They will use pads and pillows to help make you comfortable so that you can remain still during the scan.

Some people need to have a contrast medium to produce more detailed images, which involves an injection of dye. The dye is injected into a vein in your arm, which can make it feel a bit warm for a short while. If you need a contrast medium, you may also need to have a blood test before your scan as a precaution and to check your kidney function.

The MRI scanner is approximately four feet long and is open at both ends. During the scan, the couch is moved so that the body area being examined is in the centre of the scanner. You will be given headphones or earplugs to wear because the machine makes a loud humming noise.

The MRI team will be in the control room, but you will be able to talk to them via an intercom and they can see you on a screen. You will need to keep completely still while the images are being taken. If at any time during the scan you feel worried or uncomfortable, just let the MRI team know using the buzzer and they will do what they can to help.

The MRI scan itself usually takes around 20 minutes and your appointment from start to finish is likely to be about 30 minutes. Please note if you are having more than one body area scanned the appointment will be longer.

There are no side-effects from the MRI scan itself. However, if you have had an injection of contrast medium as part of the investigation, you may have some side-effects which might include a skin rash, dizziness, a headache, and nausea. The MRI team will discuss this with you and answer any questions you may have before the injection.

Yes, you can eat and drink as normal.

After the scan, the images will be examined by the radiologist who is responsible for producing a written report on their findings to send to your referring Clinician. Our radiologists are all qualified doctors and specialise in specific body areas, giving you, and your referring Clinician confidence in the accuracy of your report.

Making an appointment

MRI scans for NHS patients 

If you are an NHS patient and are having an MRI scan at a Medical Imaging Partnership site or centre, you will need a referral from your GP or healthcare specialist.

Please contact the team at our Referral Management Centre on 01243 534 043 if your GP has given you a reference number to make a booking. Otherwise, we will be in touch when we have received your referral centrally.

Medical Imaging Partnership also works in partnership with a number of NHS providers supporting them in the delivery of their diagnostic requests. They may have transferred your care to us and we will be in touch with you to arrange a convenient time, date and location for us to undertake your investigation.

Learn more

Booking an appointment for a private MRI scan 

We can offer MRI scans to patients with private medical insurance, or those who wish to self-pay.

Private appointments for a private MRI scan at Medical Imaging Partnership are available at short notice and reports are usually turned around within 24-48 hours.

If you would like to make an appointment for an MRI scan, please click and complete the ‘Request An Appointment’ form or call us on 01293 534 043.

To arrange an MRI scan with Medical Imaging Partnership you will need written referral from a healthcare professional. If you do not have a referral, please contact our team who will be happy to discuss your options.

    General Enquiry and Appointment Form

    Whether you have a general enquiry or are enquiring about making an appointment, we'd love to hear from you. Please complete the form below, or you can call us on

    01293 534 043

    Tel: 01293 534 043
    Email: enquiries@medicalimaging.org.uk

    Medical Imaging Partnership Ltd.
    Unit 7, The Pavilions, Brighton Road, Pease Pottage, Crawley,
    West Sussex RH11 9BJ