PATIENTS at the Gateshead's Queen Elizabeth Hospital are set for a welcome boost following the announcement of a major new investment to help improve stroke and cancer services.

Thanks to funding from the New Opportunities Fund, the hospital's Diagnostic Imaging (X-ray) department is to get a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner.

The new technology will mean that patients referred to the department no longer have to travel across the Tyne to Newcastle for MRI scans.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital service manager Phil Robinson said: "This is great news for the hospital and will make life a lot easier for our patients.

"The machine uses the latest imaging technology for the radiology profession and gives doctors more choice when making a diagnosis.

"The grant will bring improved service to Gateshead and save patients from travelling further afield."

Updated : 13:43, 20/12/01