PATIENT INFORMATION

FAQs

Have a question? We may already have the answer in the FAQs below, if not, please feel free to contact us.


General FAQs

You may have a general question about Medical Imaging Partnership. Here we answer some generic questions about the services we offer.

Here we answer some generic questions about the services we offer.

At Medical Imaging Partnership our radiology services are available to everyone. If you are a NHS patient and require diagnostic imaging you can choose to have your treatment at one of our sites through the NHS e-Referral System. Your GP will be able to advise if your medical treatment is covered under the NHS e-Referral scheme. You will be given the choice of hospitals or clinics in your local area and which have availability for the treatment you require. Find out more here

As well as offering a competitive self pay price to patients seeking diagnostic imaging, Medical Imaging Partnership is accredited by all of the major private medical insurers and our services are available to everyone. Find out more or request a private appointment here (link to contact us form).

Across all our centres, we are committed to keeping you safe during the Covid pandemic.

At Medical Imaging Partnership we want to reassure you that throughout the pandemic our locations have remained open and fully operational, with all appointments and services running as normal. Learn more about how we are keeping you safe here.

Our sites and centres are located across Sussex and Kent. Find your nearest Medical Imaging Partnership site here.

All our centres are wheelchair friendly.

MRI FAQs

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.

Ultrasound Scan FAQs

You may have concerns or questions about having an Ultrasound 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 are not designed to replace an informed discussion with your own 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 ultrasound scan is a picture of part of the inside of the body. It uses sound waves of a frequency above the audible range of the human ear. A small hand-held sensor pressed carefully against the skin surface generates sound waves and detects any echoes reflected back off the surfaces and tissues of our internal organs. The sensor can be moved over the skin to view the organs from different angles. The images are displayed on a screen and recorded for subsequent study.

Ultrasound images complement other forms of scans and are widely used for many different parts of the body. They can also be used to study blood flow and to detect any narrowing or blockage of blood vessels, for example, in the neck. 

Ultrasound is also used for intimate examinations; for example, of the prostate gland in men or the womb or ovaries in women. For some of these examinations, it may be necessary to place a small ultrasound probe in the vagina or the rectum to look at internal structures. If you are having an intimate examination the radiologist or sonographer will describe the procedure to you before and seek your informed consent.

Your Clinician is a sonographer or radiologist who has specialised training in the technique of ultrasound. They carry out a great number of these examinations and will provide a descriptive report of their findings to your referring Clinician.

No. Ultrasound scans are very safe, and there are no known risks.

When we schedule your appointment we will let you know about anything you need to do differently before your scan and this will be confirmed when we send your appointment letter. For example:

  • If your pelvis, kidney or bladder are being scanned, you may need to have a full bladder.
  • For some scans (such as the gallbladder and pancreas) you may be asked to fast for several hours.
  • If you are diabetic, please bring some food and your medication to the centre.

Please let us know in advance if you have had another ultrasound scan recently.

Yes, subject to infection control restrictions. However, your relative/friend may be asked to leave the ultrasound room during the examination.

The Clinician will explain what is involved in detail, and you will be able to ask any questions before giving consent to proceed with the examination. For more information about Informed Consent please visit:  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/consent-to-treatment/

You will be asked to lie on an examination couch. The lights may be dimmed so that the images on the screen are as sharp as possible.

The Clinician will put some gel on your skin. This allows the sensor to be moved around more easily and helps produce sharper images.

Depending on where you have the scan, you may be asked to take deep breaths and to hold your breath for a few moments. For a bladder scan, if your bladder is not full enough, you may be asked to have another drink.

The Clinician will slowly move the sensor over your skin while looking at the images on the screen. They will record some of these to study in detail later. When it is all done, the gel will be wiped off before you leave.

The scan usually takes around 10-15 minutes and you will need to allow 20 minutes in total for your appointment.

Ultrasound itself does not cause any discomfort and apart from the sensor on your skin, you will not feel anything. If you have been asked to come to your appointment with a full bladder, it may be a little uncomfortable. Similarly, if we need to apply pressure over an inflamed organ (such as your gallbladder), you may feel some discomfort whilst that is being done.

Yes, you can eat and drink as normal.

The images will be examined after your visit, and a written report sent to your referring Clinician.

No, we do not offer obstetric ultrasound scans at Medical Imaging Partnership.

X-ray FAQs

You may have concerns or questions about having an X-ray 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 are not designed to replace an informed discussion with your own Clinician before your appointment. However, we will be able to answer any questions or concerns about the x-ray when you arrive for your appointment.

An x-ray is a widely used diagnostic test. It is an effective way of examining the internal structures of the body and can be used to help detect a range of conditions or monitor against existing conditions.

An x-ray is of a type of radiation known as ionising radiation. The dose that you get from a medical x-ray is very low and the associated risks are minimal. The radiation from an x-ray is equivalent to that which we all receive from the atmosphere over a period of 2-3 days. The radiographer is responsible for making sure that your dose is kept as low as possible and that the benefits of having the x-ray outweigh any risk.

It is important to tell your referring Clinician and the radiographer if there is any possibility that you are pregnant as radiation can be harmful for an unborn baby.

Please inform the radiographer if you have had a similar x-ray recently. Each x-ray request will be checked by the radiographer to make sure it is properly justified and necessary.

You do not need to prepare for a routine x-ray at Medical Imaging Partnership. However, you may be asked to remove items of clothing or remove any jewellery that may interfere with the x-ray, for example, necklaces for chest x-rays, rings for hand x-rays.

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

Please follow the arrival instructions 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 x-ray.

The radiographer will ask you to confirm some details, including your identity and that you are happy for the x-ray to go ahead. This is a form of verbal consent and may only involve the radiographer checking you are booked for the correct x-ray. For more information about Informed Consent please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/consent-to-treatment/

If you do not wish to have the x-ray or are undecided, please discuss it with the radiographer – they can answer any questions you may have.

Once in the x-ray room you will be advised on the position required for the examination. You may be asked to lie on the table or stand against the equipment so that the part of your body being examined is in the correct position.

The radiographer will stand behind a screen to take the x-ray.

You will need to stay still so the image is not blurred, but you will not feel anything and should feel quite comfortable.

The x-ray itself will only take a few seconds, but the radiographer may need to take further x-rays in different positions. This usually takes no more than 5 -10 minutes. Your appointment from start to finish is likely to be about 15 minutes.

X-rays provide such a low dose of radiation that they are not believed to cause any immediate health problems.

Yes, you can eat and drink as normal.

The radiographer will not be able to give you any results at the time of your appointment. 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.

DEXA Scan FAQs

You may have concerns or questions about having a DEXA 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 are not 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.

A bone density scan is also known as a DXA or DEXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) scan. It uses x-ray equipment and a computer to measure your bone density.

A DEXA scan is more effective than normal x-rays and will tell you if you have normal bone density, low bone density (osteopenia) or osteoporosis. It is endorsed by the National Osteoporosis Society as the ‘gold standard’ for diagnosing osteoporosis. The lower your bone density, the greater the risk of breaking a bone.

The amount of x-ray radiation used in a DEXA scan is very low – much lower than a standard x-ray which means the radiographer taking the scan can remain with you.
A DEXA scan can help you and your clinician:

  • Learn if you have weak bones or osteoporosis before you break a bone.
  • Predict your chance of breaking a bone in the future.
  • See if your bone density is improving, getting worse or staying the same.
  • Monitor how well treatment for osteoporosis is working.
  • Let you know if you have osteoporosis after you break a bone. Osteoporosis does not have any symptoms until a bone is broken.

The amount of radiation used during a DEXA scan is very low – equivalent to less than two days’ exposure to natural background radiation.

It is important to tell your referring Clinician and the radiographer if there is any possibility that you are pregnant as radiation can be harmful for an unborn baby.

There are no side effects. After your scan, you will be able to go home or return to work and you are safe to drive.

No. You can eat and drink as normal and continue with any of your usual medicines.

No special preparations are required. However, please notify the DEXA team if you have had a radiology procedure including CT or MRI using a contrast / dye or a nuclear medicine scan, in the past few days.

Yes, subject to infection control restrictions. Although only in special circumstances will they be permitted to accompany you into the actual scan room.

Please follow the arrival instructions as set out in your appointment confirmation letter and bring the completed health questionnaire you will have been sent.

Please note that you may not need to wear a gown, although you will be asked to remove any items that might contain metal (eg a bra or a belt).

The radiographer or imaging assistant will explain the procedure and give you the opportunity, to ask any questions before you consent to proceed with the examination. You must understand what is involved and be satisfied that you have received enough information about the investigation before you consent to the examination.  For more information about informed consent please visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/consent-to-treatment.

You will be weighed, and your height measured.

The radiographer will ask you to lie on the scanner couch and will move you into the correct position. If you are having your hip scanned, they will rotate your leg inwards, for a scan of the lower spine, your legs will be supported with a pad. It is usual to scan your left hip and lower spine, however, if you have had surgery in this area, other parts of the body may be scanned instead, such as your forearm.

The DEXA scanner machine will slowly pass over your body. Two scans may be taken, and you will be asked to remain very still so the images are not blurred.

The DEXA scan itself usually takes about 20 minutes. Altogether you can expect to be in the centre for around 30 minutes. 

No, not at all. Afterwards, you will be able to go home or return to work and you are safe to drive.  

Yes, you can drink and east as normal afterwards. 

After the scan, the report will be sent to your referring Clinician.   

USGI FAQs

You may have concerns or questions about having an Ultrasound Guided Injection 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 are not 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 injection is given to reduce inflammation and pain within a joint. They are frequently recommended for people with rheumatoid arthritis and other types of inflammatory arthritis including gout and pseudo gout. They may also be recommended for osteoarthritis if your joints are very painful or if you need pain relief in addition to your normal medication.

Ultrasound is a type of imaging that uses high-frequency sound waves. The ultrasound probe detects sound waves that are bounced back from different structures in the body, producing an image on a monitor. An ultrasound scan can detect needles inserted into the body and therefore can be used to target your injection and to exactly the right spot.

An injection into a joint is called an intra-articular injection, and it can be made up of a corticosteroid combined with a local anaesthetic to reduce your discomfort. It can be directed into or around the joint to reduce swelling (inflammation), stiffness and pain.

If you have pain or inflammation near an affected joint, you will probably be given an injection into this tender area rather than the joint. This is called a periarticular or soft tissue injection.

Steroids are a type of medicine, which can be given as tablets or injections. Steroid injections come in different formulas; some act very quickly others are slower acting but longer lasting.

Steroid injections reduce inflammation, which helps to ease pain and reduce stiffness.

They are used for any inflammatory arthritis and sometimes for severe osteoarthritis, for gout and other inflammatory joint conditions and for conditions affecting the muscles, tendons and other soft tissues.

Evidence suggests steroid injections administered under ultrasound guidance are far more accurate than without. Needle placement can be carefully monitored and can target the problem area.

Ultrasound-guided steroid injections can provide significant pain relief, reduce inflammation and improve joint mobility for those suffering with long-term joint pain, as well as in the management of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Ultrasound guided injections can be beneficial to reduce localised pain. They will not cure the underlying cause, but they may help improve your symptoms for up to several months.

With less pain, you may find you can do more physical activity, helping the joint to feel more comfortable. This can improve sleep and make everyday activities easier to manage. Some people find that they can reduce or stop taking painkillers after consultation with their Clinician.

Along with physiotherapy, injections can sometimes help avoid the need for surgery.

Some people gain immediate pain relief; others may not notice anything for a couple of weeks after the injection. And the results vary from person to person – it does not work for everyone.

Yes. Side-effects can include:

  • Bruising at the injection site

Rare side effects include:

  • A temporary flare-up of your joint pain
  • Hot flushes or mood swings
  • Feeling feverish, tired and sick
  • Headaches
  • Allergic reaction to local anaesthetic

Injections can occasionally cause some skin thinning or changes to skin colour at the injection site. While the procedure is always performed under sterile conditions, as with all procedures, there is a small risk of infection. All these are rare events (they are known to affect between 1 in every 1000 and 1 in every 10,000 people). If the area injected becomes red, hot and swollen, and/or you feel feverish, it is important to seek medical advice immediately.

Once the numbing effect of the local anaesthetic wears off, the area can sometimes feel tender for up to 48 hours before the corticosteroid starts to work. This affects about 1 in every 10 people. Occasionally the pain can be quite bad, but that does not mean the injection has not worked.

If you are diabetic, your blood glucose levels may increase temporarily (please see ‘What happens before the procedure?’).

You may find it is useful to wear loose clothing or clothing that can either be easily removed or rolled-up to expose the treatment area.

If you are on Warfarin or any other blood-thinning tablets, make a note of your INR (International Normalising Ratio). This should be stable at 3 or below.

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

You will be asked to complete a health questionnaire prior to the procedure, which will be checked with the Clinician undertaking the procedure who will be a Radiologist or Specialist Doctor. Please ensure you advise the Clinician if you are:

  • Taking any of the following medication:
    • Warfarin
    • Aspirin
    • Clopidogrel (Plavix)
    • Zyban (Bupropion)
  • A diabetic as the steroid may temporarily affect your sugar levels for about 24 hours after the injection, so you will need to carefully monitor your levels of blood glucose and adjust your medication if necessary. If you have haemophilia (meaning your blood does not clot), there could be an increased risk of bleeding into the joint.
  • If you have an infection, have recently tested positive for MRSA or been prescribed antibiotics.
  • If you are pregnant or think you could be.

The procedure will be explained to you, including any risks and you will have an opportunity to ask any questions. You will then be asked for consent to continue with the procedure. For more information about Informed Consent please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/consent-to-treatment/

The procedure will be performed by a Clinician trained in performing ultrasound guided procedures. The Clinician will explain the benefits and risks of having the injection and will answer any questions you may have.

You will be positioned on the ultrasound couch. The Clinician will perform an ultrasound to identify the area requiring an injection. The skin is cleaned with a sterile solution.

The procedure is performed under aseptic conditions to reduce the risk of infection. A small needle will be inserted into the site of the pain under ultrasound image guidance. A local anaesthetic will first be injected followed by the steroid injection. The needle is removed and a plaster or dressing is applied.

The procedure takes around 15 minutes. Your appointment may take around 30 minutes in total, depending on how you are feeling afterwards.

The injection will involve a small needle and will be similar to a blood test. If the area is very inflamed there may be more discomfort and you should tell the Clinician if you are finding the pain difficult to tolerate.

The injection may cause stinging briefly before the area becomes numb. There may be a pressure sensation or tightness for injections into joints.

Immediately after steroid injection, you may feel that your pain has gone or is significantly reduced. This is due to the local anaesthetic and the effect will last for a few hours. The steroid usually starts to work in three to four days but may take longer. The effect of the steroid injection varies from person to person, and a few people may not experience any benefit. Symptoms can be relieved for a few weeks to a few months.

You will be required to remain in the department for 10 minutes after the procedure. We strongly recommend that you are accompanied to the department by a responsible adult and advise that you refrain from driving for the remainder of the day. Your insurance may be void if you are involved in an accident. You should rest the area that has been injected for 1-2 days.

Yes, subject to any infection control restrictions. However, your relative/friend may be asked to leave the ultrasound room during the procedure.

Yes,  you are able to eat and drink as normal, although some people may feel nauseous for a while after their treatment.

Single steroid injections should not affect your fertility or pregnancy. However, if you are pregnant or think you could be you should let the Clinician know before you have a steroid injection.

Although small amounts of steroid may pass into the breast milk, this is very unlikely to be harmful to your baby. However, you should discuss the risks with your Clinician before your treatment.

  • You are advised to delay a local steroid injection for a minimum of 2 weeks following a COVID vaccination.
  • You are advised to delay a COVID 19 vaccination for a minimum of 2 weeks following a local steroid injection.
  • Other vaccinations may be administered as usual after local steroid injections.

    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