The GO-MOBILE (Grampian Osteoporosis MOBile Bone Density Scanning Service) is due to be stationed at the Balfour Hospital next week.
The unit, which is Scotland’s first mobile bone-density scanner, helps identify and treat people at risk of fracture who may benefit from treatment to strengthen their bones and reduce future fracture risk.
Two specialist radiographers from NHS Grampian aim to scan around 80 patients – who have been referred to the service by their GP or hospital doctor – on this initial visit.
Scans are reported within three weeks and any recommendation for treatment are sent to the patient’s GP.
Marthinus Roos, NHS Orkney medical director, said: “We are delighted to welcome the scanner here for the first time in Orkney. Over the course of the year, this visiting service will save patients having to make the time-consuming journey to the mainland. We look forward to hearing what patients and their families think of this initiative.
“Orkney is like the rest of the UK – the balance of our population is changing, with more and more older people as a percentage of our community. With older age comes the increased risk of osteoporotic fractures. For people over 50, this is 1 in 2 for women and 1 in 5 for men.
“The arrival of the GO-MOBILE service adds to the services that NHS Orkney has provided, building on other areas of work such as increased used of telemedicine and the establishment of our local CT scanning service and we will continue to look at ways to save residents unnecessary journeys to the mainland for diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care.”