St Joseph’s Hospital holds inaugural cardiac MRI course for radiographers - a first in Wales

Date Posted: 22nd September 2021

Delegates travelled across the UK for the “very valuable course”.

The inaugural cardiac MRI course for radiographers interested in learning more about cardiovascular MRI has been held at St Joseph’s Hospital in Newport. Twenty-four delegates travelled from across the UK to attend the two-day course – the first of its kind in Wales.

The experienced faculty members, Dr. Chiara Bucciarelli-Ducci and Mr. Benny Lawton, provided didactic scientific lectures covering a plethora of topics including ECG analysis, essentials of cardiac MR imaging, CMR safety and cardiac devices and stress perfusion imaging. During the first day presentations, the delegates were encouraged to take part in discussions to support learning and to relate the theoretical information to their clinical practice.

Pictured: Mr Benny Lawton and Dr Chiara Bucciarelli-Ducci MD

On the second day, hands-on training tailored to the delegates' requests, was provided on the state-of-the-art MRI scanner recently installed as part of a £1.3m project at St Joseph’s. The MAGNETOM Sola 1.5T MRI from Siemens Healthineers is the only one of its kind in an independent hospital within a 100-mile radius of Newport and provides the clearest images achievable, making St Joseph's Hospital one of the most technically advanced diagnostic centres in Wales and the South West.

Being shorter and wider than many, the MAGNETOM Sola 1.5T MRI is designed to give patients a more spacious feel. Its multiple functions allow those with breathing difficulties or claustrophobia to have their scan in a shorter time while maintaining the same consistently high image quality.

To provide a complete clinical experience on day two, the delegates rotated through three workstations providing teaching in CMR reporting, clinical case study reviewing, and the opportunity to practice semi-automated analysis from the industry leaders, Circle (CVI42).

Consultant CMR cardiologist and co-director of the course, Dr. Chiara Bucciarelli-Ducci MD, who was awarded with a Ph.D. in cardiac magnetic resonance at the National Heart and Lung Institute, comments:

“I am extremely pleased that our first Cardiac MRI course for radiographers at St Joseph’s Hospital was such a great success. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive and the key for success was an exceptional faculty of experienced professionals, amazing facilities, and organisation at St Joseph’s Hospital, joint with a large group of enthusiastic radiographers who came to attend the course from various parts of Wales and England. It was an honour and pleasure to co-direct this course with Mr. Benny Lawton; we are a long-standing great team. This first course will be followed by many more, so stay tuned.”

Mr. Benny Lawton, executive cardiac MRI radiographer and co-director of the course, who holds over 12 years of cardiac MRI experience, added: “I am delighted the inaugural cardiac MRI course was a huge success and we achieved such positive feedback from all our 24 delegates. They were impressed with the quality of the lectures which covered all aspects of cardiac MR imaging. Those who attended the second day found the hands-on approach, which reaffirmed the previous day's content, an invaluable experience.”

Delegates who attended the course had nothing but positive feedback to share. Lauren from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board delights: “I cannot speak highly enough of today! The faculty members are so knowledgeable, and each presentation was very valuable, relevant, and informative. A really enjoyable course.”

St Joseph’s Hospital's Centre of Advanced Diagnostics is widely recognised as the most advanced in any independent hospital in South Wales.

Bayer was a partial sponsor of the event.