MR Scanning (MRI)

The Magnetic Resonance (MR) Imaging Department provides a comprehensive scanning service to aid in the diagnosis of varying pathologies from scans of the brain, right down to scans of the foot. The service scans approximately 6000 patients a year.

We have a GE Signa HDX 1.5 Tesla MR scanner. As no ionising radiation is used, an MR scan is relatively safe, it is however very noisy and so earplugs and headphones are worn during the scan.

The 1.5T scanner has the magnetic strength equal to one and a half times that used in a junkyard to pick up cars. So although the scans are safe from a radiation point of view, strict procedures are in place to ensure magnetic safety.

MR-GE Signa HDX 1.5 Tesla MR scanner
MR-GE Signa HDX 1.5 Tesla MR scanner

Procedures Done in the Department

The department offers a wide range of MR scans including;

  • Angiography
  • Head and Neck
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Abdominal/Pelvis

Within these general headers are a variety of scans to suit individual patient presentation.

Admission Information

Scan requests are accepted by consultant clinical referral only and appointments are given on an outpatient basis.

There is access for inpatient referrals which are prioritised according to clinical urgency. We aim to scan referrals for cauda equina within 12 hours and those for metastatic cord compressions within 24 hours. These scans are via consultant to consultant referral only.

Inpatient Waiting Times

Waiting times for inpatients waiting for MR scans are measured monthly.

  • January 2016 average inpatient waiting time for MR: 2.3 days
  • 45% of the total number of patients were scanned between 0-1 days
  • 64% of the total number of patients were scanned between 0-2 days

Relatives and Escorts

To maintain patient confidentiality and to comply with MHRA regulations we try to minimise escort attendance in the scan room.

In exceptional circumstances, such as severe claustrophobia or cognitive impairment, one relative/escort will be allowed to accompany the patient for the duration of the scan. The needs of the patient will be considered and access will be at the discretion of the radiographer performing the examination.

Any Tests/ Preparations Needed

Outpatients are sent a safety questionnaire with their appointment for completion prior to attending their scan.

Inpatients are required to fill out a similar checklist. If they do not have the ability to accurately complete this then a doctor must complete and sign the form after a full assessment of the patient’s medical history. Patients are advised that where possible there should be no metal items on their clothing such as zips, buttons, underwire bra, metal eyelets on jogging pants. Other items such as body piercings and jewellery must be removed prior to the scan.

Patients may be asked to undress or remove items and we will provide a hospital gown if required.

Those patients who do not speak English must be accompanied by a trust interpreter, outpatients are advised of this in the appointment letter and the interpreter is booked by the MR department. Unfortunately a friend or family member cannot be used as an interpreter.


We are situated in the Clinical Radiology Department at Manchester Royal Infirmary. You can find us in the Main Xray Department, Ground Floor in the Purple Zone.

Opening Hours

The scanner runs from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday with outpatient only lists running on Saturdays and some Sundays. We do not currently run an on call service for MR.

Contact Details

Inpatient appointment enquiries 0161 276 4674

Outpatient appointment enquiries 0161 276 6083/8601

Report enquiries : 0161 276 4457


Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Main Xray, Purple Zone, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9WL


The department is run by a team of Radiographers who perform a wide range of plain film examinations. In addition to this, we have a plain film reporting team of radiographers who report plain film examinations.

Additional Information

Due to the very high magnetic field associated with MRI, patient safety is of the utmost importance. We therefore must be very strict as to who enters our department. All staff who need access must read and sign a magnetic safety screening form

Should you wish to discuss a scan please approach one of our consultant radiologists who can offer advice and assess scan priority.