Department of Radiology
Whinney Heys Road
FY3 8NR Blackpool Lancashire

Tel: 01253 6635
Fax: 01253 306621

How to Find Us


Blackpool Victoria Hospital
01253 306645
Nuclear Medicine
01253 303919
CT/MR Scanning
01253 306619
01253 303545
01253 306984

Fleetwood Hospital
X-ray & Fluoroscopy
01253 306004
01253 303146

Clifton Hospital
01253 657010
01253 306645

Information for Patients

Click on the appropriate link for more information about our special investigations.




CT Scanning - Head


CT stands for computerised tomography.  A CT scan uses x-rays to take detailed pictures of the inside of your body.  It helps us find the cause of your problem and guide us to find the best treatment options for you.  A standard x-ray does not give the same level of detail as a CT scan.  We can scan just about any part of the body, from head to toe!  We can even assess the heart, the coronary arteries and the large vessels that bring blood to and from the heart with this type of scan!

Preparing for a CT ScanThe CT scanner is the "doughnut" shaped scanner and not the tunnel!  In our experience, patients do not feel claustrophobic while having a CT scan because their head is outside of the scanner for most of the examination. 

A head CT may be done to detect effects of trauma, abscesses, tumours, birth defects, sinus problems, blood vessels or to find the cause of headaches, weakness or a change in mental status.


We recommend that you eat only a light meal before your scan, but do continue to take any prescribed medication. If you are taking medicines for diabetes (for example metformin), these may need to be altered around the time of your scan.  It is important that there is no metal on your clothing, as it may obscure details of your organs, so if possible please try and come to your appointment wearing leisure clothes, for example tracksuit, leggings, etc. If this is not possible, changing facilities and hospitals gowns are available. Contact your GP or please feel free to telephone us on 01253 306619 if you have any questions about your medications.  We also suggest to bring along a list of your medications that you are taking.  This helps us better to optimise your scan to your needs.


In general, CT scans are very safe, although more radiation is required than in a regular x-ray. Any exposure to radiation poses some risk to the body, but the amount used in an individual CT scan isn't considered dangerous. It is important to know that radiologists use the minimum amount of radiation required to get the best results.  

Sometimes we need to give you an injection of contrast dye before the scan in order to see the brain and its vessels better.  This contains iodine, which some people are allergic to.  However, the incidence of allergic reactions is very low. Before your scan, we will check whether you've had any previous allergies or have had any problems with your thyroid gland. 

Any time an injection is done into a vein, there is a risk of the contrast leaking outside the vein under the skin.  If a large amount of contrast leaks under the skin, in rare cases, this can cause the skin to break down.

If you are pregnant, there is a risk of harm to the developing baby, so precautions must be taken. Please let the radiographer know if you think you might be pregnant.

When you arrive, report to X-ray Central Reception (Area 4) or the Cardiac Care Centre (Area 12). You will be taken to the scan room and positioned on the scan table so that your are comfortable - it is very important that you remain still throughout the scan. Your head will be stabilised by a Velcro strap in a soft head-rest during the exam.  You should not feel any pain during the scan.  If you find it difficult or uncomfortable lying still, please tell the radiographer. The radiographer will monitor you at all times and you will be able to communicate via an intercom.

The appointment may take about 10-20 minutes. The scan itself is very short. If you need an injection of contrast dye, one of the CT staff will insert a small needle into a vein in the back of your hand or the crook of your arm.  When the dye is injected, you might feel somewhat dizzy, have a hot flush and/or get a metallic taste in your mouth.  This is normal! Sometimes people also have a sensation that they are weeing (but they don't actually do it).  These sensations pass within minutes. 

If you feel short of breath or like you might have to vomit, please let a radiographer know.

The radiographer will position you and then step into an adjoining room to operate the machine, but will able to hear you via an intercom and see you through a window.

The room where the machine is will be cold.  This is so that the scanner doesn't overheat.  We perform approximately over 60 CT examinations daily, and the machines certainly do get warm doing so!

In most cases, once the scan is completed, you will be able to go home or back to the ward if you are an inpatient.  You can eat, drink and go back to your normal activities straight away. 

If you have received a contrast dye injection, you may need to wait 10 minutes before you can go. The results of your scan will not be available the same day, but a copy of them will be sent to your consultant.