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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) stands as a cornerstone in modern diagnostic medicine, offering a window into the body’s inner workings without the use of ionising radiation. At St John & Elizabeth Hospital, we pride ourselves on blending compassionate care with cutting-edge technology to provide you with clear, accurate insights into your health.

Also known as: Diagnostic MRI

from £710*

See pricing details

Everything You Need to Know

MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. An MRI scan uses a combination of a strong magnet and radio waves to produce detailed pictures of the inside of your body.

An MRI scan creates pictures which are much more detailed, compared to ordinary x-rays. It is particularly good at identifying problems in the spine, brain, and joints. It is also used for looking at other parts of the body, often when other scans have not provided answers. Unlike x-rays and CT (computed tomography) scans, MRI does not use radiation.

Our MRI suite is equipped with the latest in imaging technology to ensure that every scan we perform is as informative and comfortable as possible our team of dedicated radiographers are here to guide you every step of the way.

Who performs the scan?

You will be cared for by our imaging team.

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 it’s complete, to the doctor who referred you.

Are there any risks involved?

MRI is a very safe procedure. However, if you have a pacemaker or certain other surgical implants, such as cochlear implants, you might not be able to have this scan. Please contact the imaging department if you have any concerns regarding your suitability for an MRI.


Before The Scan

Appointment Scheduling: Upon confirming your MRI 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: At the hospital, we will ask you to complete and sign a safety questionnaire. You’ll be asked if you’re pregnant or have any medical conditions. Your safety is our priority. The MRI procedure is painless and non-invasive. If you feel anxious or claustrophobic, please let us know so we can make your experience as comfortable as possible.

On the day of your scan: At the hospital, we will ask you to complete and sign a safety questionnaire. You’ll be asked if you’re pregnant or have any medical conditions. You’ll also be asked if you have any metal or electronic implants because these may cause problems during your MRI scan. Your radiographer will go through a checklist of metal items that you may have inside your body. Having something metallic in your body doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have an MRI scan. But your radiographer does need to know, so they can make the right safety decisions. Tell the radiographer if you have any tattoos, especially if they’re on the part of your body that’s being scanned.

During The Scan

Upon arrival, our friendly staff will welcome you and guide you to the MRI department. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown for your comfort and to prevent any interference during the scan.

During the scan

  • We will give you ear plugs and headphones to wear as the MRI is very loud! We will also give you a cushion and blanket so that you don’t get too cold, as well as a call button to press. You will then lie on a bed that will slide into the scanner.
  • The headphones will link into our control room, so you can hear and communicate with your radiographer. If you start to feel anxious at any point, you can press the button. We’ll pause the scan right away and come in to check on you.
  • We will ask you to lie as still as possible. This is to make sure the images we take are as clear as possible. For some scans, we will ask you to hold your breath for short periods of time to help obtain the clearest images.
  • Some people may become warm during the scan. This is dependent on the type of scan we are performing. The warmth is caused by the body absorbing radio frequencies.

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 gadolinium which can occasionally cause an allergic reaction.

How long will it take?

The time will depend on the type of MRI scan you are having. Most scans can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours

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 have had a contrast dye injection, we will remove the cannula before you leave the department. 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 MRI 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 £710*

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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