Radiology services

X-Ray

In the main Radiology department, there are two x-ray rooms and a dental x-ray room, which are primarily used for in and outpatients and GP patients during the day. They can also be used for in-patients during the out of hours period.

Outside of the main department, there is an ED x-ray room which is located alongside the Emergency Department in Parson's House. This deals with all minor and major emergencies requiring x-rays.

If a member of staff or carer is pregnant, please inform the radiographer prior to examination as they will not be able to enter the x-ray room during the examination.

The exam itself can take from ten to 30 minutes depending on the type of x-ray requested.

We are open for GP referrals Monday – Friday 9am-4:30pm

GP request form

Please fax request forms to 0121 333 9726

Fluoroscopy

Digital fluoroscopy uses x-rays to produce images of the body part under investigation on a fluorescent screen which is coupled to a digital video processor. The images are displayed on a visual display unit in real time. It is used for a number of examinations including Barium Swallows, Barium Follow-through's, Barium Enemas, Tube Insertions, MCUG's, Loopograms and Micturating Cystograms (MCUG's).

CT

CT scanning is a fast, accurate and non-invasive way of producing high-quality cross-sectional images of the body. It is used to help doctors diagnose and treat many different types of medical conditions.

It consists of a table that the patient lies on and a 'donut-shaped' scanner gantry that houses an x-ray tube. The patient passes through the scanner as the x-ray tube rotates within the gantry. The scanner uses sophisticated computer technology to detect the x-ray radiation passing through the body and produces detailed cross-sectional images of the different tissues within the body. Different computer software applications can be used to construct images for analysis by a consultant radiologist

MRI

A medical imaging modality - which can visualise the insides of the human body in very high detail, MRI is particularly useful when imaging the body's 'soft tissues'. This makes it very useful in the detection of various cancers, abnormalities of the brain and heart, and musculoskeletal conditions.

MRI stands for 'Magnetic Resonance Imaging', and the technique utilises magnetism to affect atoms in the body known as protons, which respond to magnetic fields. Organ / tissues are made up of varying water / fat content which produce different types of signal intensity on the images on the various pulse sequences employed by the MRI scanners. As MRI does not use radiation, it is believed to be one of the safest forms of diagnostic imaging, making it generally an extremely safe procedure. We do however have to carefully screen patients so that they can be imaged safely as there are known contra-indications to MRI such as pacemakers

Ultrasound

An ultrasound scan is a procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of part of the inside of the body, such as the liver, kidneys or soft tissues.

As sound waves are used rather than radiation, the procedure is safe. Ultrasound scans are commonly used during pregnancy to produce images of the baby in the womb.

Ultrasound scans can also be used to:

  • Examine the brain in young babies
  • Examine other parts of the body such as the kidney, bladder and abdomen
  • Help guide a surgeon performing some types of biopsy

Most ultrasound scans don’t take long to perform, typically between 20 and 45 minutes. Your ultrasound scan will take place in the Radiology department and will be performed either by a doctor or by a sonographer (ultrasound specialist).

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine scans are conducted by nuclear medicine technologists at BCH. Nuclear medicine scans differ from other radiology modalities as the emphasis is not on imaging anatomy but the function.

For a Nuclear medicine scans a radiotracer is most commonly injected into the bloodstream through a vein, but sometimes might be given in a different way including, swallowed or inhaled. A gamma camera detects the radiation which is coming from the body and images produced of how the particular system is functioning. The gamma camera is positioned very close to the patient. The camera makes no noise during the scan. Depending on the scan you are having images are taken immediately or after a delay. Most scans take 20-30 minutes but some can take up to 1 hour. Nuclear medicine procedures are non-invasive with the exception of an IV injection. Allergic reactions to radiotracers may occur but are rare and are mild. A radiologist will interpret the images and forward a report to the referring doctor.

Cardiac Imaging

Our People - Meet the Team

Dr Ashish Chikermane, Clinical Lead for Cardiology

Dr Simon McGuirk, Lead Radiologist for Cardiac Imaging - View full profile

Dr Ben Pinkey, Consultant Radiologist with a specialist interest in Cardiovascular Imaging

Cardiac Imaging Co-coordinator:

Contact Radiology Secretaries on 0121 333 9730 or via email, on bch.cardiacimaging@bch.nhs.uk

Interventional Radiology

The Interventional Radiology Service at Birmingham Children’s Hospital offers a comprehensive range of interventional procedures for the children and young people of the West Midlands and beyond.

Treating a variety of conditions such as vascular and lymphatic malformations, portal hypertension and strictures of the oesophagus, our team provides a dedicated, specialised service for our patients, using the highest quality equipment and techniques.

Research

Our service is active in research and development. We regularly review our clinical practice in the form of audit and prospective research studies, in order to evaluate our current practice and develop new services.

We work with other departments within Birmingham Children’s Hospital and in other centres nationally and internationally, to develop best practice in this new and exciting field.

Our team regularly attends national and international research conferences and training courses to both update our practice and to share our experience in order to train others. 

Contact information:

Interventional Radiology Scheduling and Data Quality Co-coordinator

0121 333 9721
bch.ir@NHS.net

Radiology Department
Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Steelhouse Lane
Birmingham
West Midlands

B4 6NH

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