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CT Scans

At St John & Elizabeth Hospital, we understand the importance of accurate diagnostics in providing outstanding patient care. Our state-of-the-art CT (Computed Tomography) scan services are at the forefront of this effort, offering a detailed look inside the body that traditional X-rays cannot match. This non-invasive procedure is crucial for diagnosing various conditions.

Also known as: CAT scans

from £795*

See pricing details

Everything You Need to Know

A CT scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around your body and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images (slices) of the bones, blood vessels, and soft tissues inside your body. These are put together by a computer and can be viewed on a screen. CT scan images provide more detailed information than plain X-rays do, making them a critical tool in medical diagnosis and interventions.

Whether you’re exploring diagnostic options or have been referred for a CT scan by your doctor, at St John & Elizabeth Hospital, we’re here to guide you through each step of the process. From understanding the reasons behind the procedure to knowing what to expect during and after your scan, we aim to provide clarity and comfort throughout your journey with us.

Who performs the scan?

Radiographers are highly trained healthcare professionals who carry out imaging procedures (such as x-rays, CTs and MRIs.) Radiologists are specially trained doctors who interpret the images and carry out more complex examinations. They will report the scan once complete, to the doctor who referred you.

What are the risks?

As with X-rays, CT scans use radiation. The level of radiation used is low and the benefits of the scan outweigh any risks.

At times patients require an injection of contrast dye, the contrast dye used for CT scans contains iodine, which some people are allergic to. We will check whether you have had any allergies in the past before your scan.

If you are having a contrast-enhanced CT, there is a small risk that the contrast injection can leak out under the skin instead of in the vein. If this does happen, the staff taking care of you will advise you at the time of the CT.

If you are, or think you could be, pregnant, or have had an allergic reaction to x-ray contrast in the past, you must tell the radiographer.

Before The Scan

Appointment Scheduling

Upon confirming your CT scan with us, you’ll receive an appointment letter detailing the date, time, and location. Should you have any queries or need to reschedule, our friendly patient care team is here to assist.

Preparing for the Scan

Preparing for your CT scan involves a few steps to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the procedure. Depending on the type of CT scan, you might need to fast for a few hours before your appointment. We’ll inform you in advance if this is necessary. You will still be able to drink water during this time. If you are on any medication, take it as usual, unless you have been told otherwise by your doctor. It’s also important to notify your doctor about any medications you’re taking and discuss any allergies, especially to contrast materials. This way, we can tailor the procedure to your needs, ensuring your comfort and safety. Depending on the area being scanned, we may ask you to change into a hospital gown and remove jewellery.

During The Scan

Upon arrival, our friendly staff will welcome you and guide you to the CT department. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown for your comfort and to prevent any interference during the scan. The CT scan itself is a quick and painless procedure, usually taking only a few minutes. Our skilled radiology team will be with you every step of the way, making sure you’re comfortable and informed.

During the scan

You will lie on a scan table which will move during the scan. The x-ray machine within the scanner will rotate around your body. As it rotates, the machine sends thin beams of x-rays through your body. Unlike some other scanning machines, the CT scanner is not enclosed. You will need to lie very still while each picture is taken to avoid blurring the images and you may be asked to hold your breath at times. Straps and pillows might be used to help you stay in the correct position during the scan. Once you’re in the correct position, the radiographer will leave the room, but you will be able to talk to them through an intercom and they will observe you throughout.

Contrast dye

If we are scanning certain areas of your body, we might need to give you an injection of contrast dye. The dye shows up on the scan and gives us more detailed pictures, particularly of your blood vessels. The injection will be given by inserting a small needle into a vein in your arm or the back of your hand. The contrast dye contains iodine, which can occasionally cause an allergic reaction.

How long will it take?

Typically, a CT scan takes between 20 to 30 minutes. Including prep time, your appointment can take up to one hour.

Will I feel any pain?

You should not feel any pain during the scan itself. Try to relax as much as possible. If you find it uncomfortable to lie still, then please tell the radiographer.

After The Scan

After the scan, you can return to your normal activities immediately. If you received a contrast dye, we will ask you to wait in the department for 15 minutes before we remove the cannula. This is to make sure you feel ok and that there is no sign of any allergic reaction to the dye. You can eat and drink as normal and resume your usual activities straight after the scan

At St John & Elizabeth Hospital, we pride ourselves on our compassionate care and clinical excellence. Our CT scan services are a testament to our commitment to providing you with the highest standards of diagnostics, helping to illuminate the path to your health and well-being.

Attending the Imaging Department


All patients are required to check-in and register at the imaging reception before any appointment. Please ensure you arrive early for your appointment to complete registration.

Self-Funding Patients

The imaging administrative team can provide quotes for all examinations in the imaging department, if you would like to know the cost of your examination before your appointment, please contact us.

Insured Patients

If you are insured please bring your insurance membership number and authorisation number with you to your imaging appointment. If you do not provide these details at the time of registration you may be asked to self-fund for the exam.

Accessing Results

A copy of your report will be sent to your referring doctor within 48 hours of your appointment. If you are seeing your doctor within 48 hours please let one of the imaging team know so we can expedite this.

  • We are unable to release imaging reports to you, as the patient until your doctor has had the opportunity to discuss the results with you.
  • You doctor should be able to provide you with a copy of the report, please contact us following your consultation if they are unable to do so

from £795*

Prices depend on how many body parts are scanned

How to pay for your test

If you’re… paying for yourself

Did you know you don’t need private medical insurance to come to St John & St Elizabeth Hospital? As a self-pay patient, you can access safe, outstanding quality health care at times to suit you.

For scans and tests, as well as to see most consultants, you’ll still need to be referred by a medical professional like your GP, but as a self-pay patient, the process is more straightforward. You won’t need authorisation from an insurance provider, and you’ll have greater choice of consultant and appointment times.

If you’re… insured

St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is approved by all major medical insurance companies. If you have a personal private health insurance policy, or your company provide it for you, you can use it to pay for your care from your initial consultation through to treatment, surgery and aftercare such as physiotherapy. Not all private health insurance plans cover the same things. It’s very important to check exactly what you are covered for with your insurance provider.

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