Providing excellent personalised care in a safe, comfortable and friendly environment is always our priority – but we know that convenient and flexible appointment times are also important and our MRI scanning services are available 6 days a week:
Monday to Friday: 8am – 8pm
Saturday: 8am – 4pm
Sunday: 9am – 1pm
Same day appointments are sometimes available, although specialised examinations may need to be performed at specific times during the week.
How do I book an MRI scan?
We welcome all patients, regardless of whether or not you are already registered with us. You will need to either be referred by a GP, Consultant or healthcare professional, or you can self-refer for an MRI scan.
You can email your referral securely on firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more or to book an appointment, you can contact us through our online enquiry form, or call us on 020 8971 8026.
What is an MRI scan?
An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan uses magnetic fields and radio frequency waves to produce incredibly detailed images of tissues inside the body. MRI scans are completely safe and non-invasive, and are frequently used to investigate and help diagnose a wide range of conditions and injuries. They are especially useful for creating detailed images involving the soft tissues and blood vessels, including the brain and spinal cord, internal organs and joints.
Our Diagnostic Imaging Suite has three different MRI scanners: A 1.5 tesla and 3 tesla that provide a wide range of scanning capabilities, and a dedicated extremity 1.5 tesla scanner for joint examinations. This allows us to offer a wide and comprehensive range of examinations.
Preparing for your MRI scan
Once your appointment is booked, we will provide you with all the information you need to prepare for your MRI scan.
We will ask you to arrive 15 minutes early, in order to complete an MRI safety questionnaire first. This is a standard part of the process and the radiographer will talk you through everything before the scan begins. You will also need to remove jewellery and will be asked to change into a gown.
Sometimes, using a contrast dye may be required to make certain tissues more visible. If this is the case, the dye will be administered as an injection into a vein in your arm or the back of your hand. However, this isn’t always necessary. If it is used, the dye will later pass through your body naturally and colourlessly in your urine.
Unfortunately, we are unable to scan people with pacemakers or implantable cardiac defibrillators, even if they are MRI compatible. Please discuss this with your referring consultant as your MRI scan will need to be done at a specialist centre.
What happens during an MRI scan?
You will be asked to lie on a flat bed, and once you are comfortable the bed will slowly move into the scanner, which looks like a very large tube. MRI scanners are very noisy while scanning, so you will be provided with protective headphones.
The process is completely safe and harmless and you won’t feel anything while the scan is happening. However, you will be asked to keep very still, as movement can affect the quality of the images obtained. While most people find MRI scans completely fine, we understand that some people can feel a bit claustrophobic or anxious. Tell your radiographer if you are concerned, as they will be able to provide advice to help you feel calm.
The radiographer will also be able to communicate with you during the scan via an intercom, and you will also be offered the chance to listen to music while the scan’s taking place (you can choose from our playlist menu or bring your own iPod or CD).
MRI scans can take anything from 15-90 minutes, depending on the area being scanned and the number of images required. You will be able to go home and carry on as normal afterwards.