New technology helps to relax children undergoing MRI scans

The latest in visual technology has been installed at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust to help distract and calm young children undergoing MRI scans. 

On one of the walls in the MRI anaesthetic room a massive ‘living picture’ has been installed – an illuminated screen which can show a variety of both static and moving pictures. 

There are eight different scenes to choose from. One shows an underwater shipwreck scene complete with swimming tropical fish, while another shows a calming Caribbean beach scene with waves lapping on the shore and palm trees blowing in the breeze. 

It is hoped that the living picture, which has been funded thanks to the charity Time is Precious, will help to relax anxious young children who are about to have a general anaesthetic before their scan. 

Di Pressdee, Team Lead Radiographer, said: “The living picture is a fantastic addition to the Radiology department. It has really brightened up our MRI anaesthetic room and is a great distraction for the children when they arrive for their scan as they are often anxious. 

“When they wake from the anaesthetic they can sometimes be upset, so it is a really useful relaxing influence in the room. It really has helped create a much more pleasant and calming environment. 

“I’d like to thank Time is Precious for funding such a wonderful bit of technology which will have such a positive impact on the experiences of some of our youngest patients.” 

Time is Precious charity was set up in 2011 by Neil and Nicky Halford in memory of their son Ben, who passed away from cancer aged just five. Ben was treated at the RUH, as well as Bristol Children’s Hospital and the former Frenchay Hospital. 

The aim of the charity is to help create a more comfortable and relaxed atmosphere for children and their families in hospital and at home, by purchasing equipment and refurbishing areas for children. To date, it has donated more than £300,000 to the RUH in the form of equipment and refurbishment projects. 

Most recently, the charity paid for a specialised DVD player to be installed in one of the MRI scan rooms in the Radiology department, allowing patients to watch their favourite movie while they have their scan. The charity also raised £33,000 for improvements to the RUH’s Children’s Ward garden. 

Neil said: “We are honoured to support the RUH. It remains a special place in our hearts, especially after the care given to Ben. 

“Everything we have purchased would have benefitted him so much – distraction is a big key whilst in hospital, especially for children. 

“We appreciate everyone who supports us. It means we can help children whilst they are in hospital, as this is such a stressful time for them and their family. 

“We appreciate every bit of support. If you would like to fundraise for us to help the RUH please email us at We have some very exciting projects coming up, and we will need everyone behind us to make a difference.” 

For more information about Time is Precious go to