Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a safe painless test that uses magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed pictures of the body organs and structures, and has no known harmful effects.  MRI differs from a CT scan as it does not use radiation.

MRI is a valuable tool for the diagnosis of a wide range of conditions and allows us to see some organs and structures that may not be visible with other diagnostic imaging methods. 

A doctor may refer you an MRI to help a doctor diagnose a disease or injury, and it can monitor how well you’re doing with treatment. MRI scans can be carried out on many different parts of your body.

How to access the service

The service is for patients who are admitted to the Trust inpatient wards and Day Services Departments and for patients attending the Emergency Departments and the Urgent Care Centre at The Royal Blackburn Hospital and Burnley General Hospital. 

The service provides imaging for patients attending outpatient clinics across the Trust premises.

The service provides for patients referred by their GP from local GP practices and integrated care centres.  The service also provides imaging for patients referred from MSK clinics.

MRI scanning is available by appointment only and is available on the following sites of the East Lancashire Hospitals Trust:

The Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital

Burnley General Teaching Hospital

Where to find us

The MRI scanners are based at both The Royal Blackburn and Burnley General Teaching Hospitals. 

At The Royal Blackburn, the MRI Scan Department is located within the Main X-ray Department.  The X-ray Department is situated on Level 1.  Please use the Main Entrance and follow signs for X-ray.  Report to CT/MRI Reception on your arrival.

At Burnley General the MRI Scan Department is located within the Main X-ray Department; this department is in Area1, Level 2.  Please use the Hospital Entrance on Casterton Avenue, and report to Main X-ray Department on arrival.

Service Lead

Kimberley Whelan

Cross Sectional Imaging Manager

CT/MRI Department  Radiology

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

Tel: 01254 732661 (int.82661)

PA: Catherine Kerans 01254 734386

Key contacts

CT/MRI Reception tel: 01254 734205 (int: 84205)

Booking Line tel:01254 734367 / 732228 (int:84367/82228)

MRI Scan Control Room  tel: 01254 733142 (int:83142)


Kimberley Whelan

Cross Sectional Imaging Manager

CT/MRI Department  Radiology

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

Tel: 01254 732661 (int.82661)

PA: 01254 734386


Rebekah Haworth

Deputy Lead Radiographer- MRI Scan

CT/MRI Department  Radiology

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

Tel: 01254 733142

General enquiries

Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital 01254 734198 (all enquiries for Royal Blackburn, Accrington Victoria Community Hospital and Blackburn LIFT Centres)


Burnley General Teaching Hospital 01282 804090 (all enquiries for Burnley General, Clitheroe, Pendle and Rossendale Primary Care Health Centres)


For MRI appointment enquiries, please call the Radiology Booking Line on 01254 734367 / 732228 between 8:15am and 7:45pm Monday to Friday or 8:15am and 11.45am Saturday and Bank Holidays, please note the booking line is closed on Sundays.

Opening times

Both MRI scanner departments operate a 7 day service and are open 8am until 8pm, except for some Bank Holidays.

Additional information

MRI Safety

An MRI scan is a painless and safe procedure. You may find it uncomfortable if you have claustrophobia, but most people find this manageable with support from the radiographer. Going into the scanner feet first may be easier, although this is not always possible.

 Not everyone can have an MRI scan. For example, they're not always possible for people who have certain types of implants fitted or if a person has injury where metal has been left inside their body.  The list below gives examples of where a person could not have an MRI scan.

·         Pacemakers or Defibrillator

·         Cochlear implants

·         Confirmed metallic foreign body in orbit of eye.

·         Neuro stimulator

The following are a list of implants that will need to be determined as MRI safe prior to the MRI examination. The provider will obtain and cross check the make and model number against a MRI safety register. Where the implant is determined to be safe the patient episode will continue, however where the implant is determined to be unsafe the request will be rejected on grounds of safety.

Also listed are circumstances where extra precautions and patient awareness will be addressed with the patient prior to the examination, and which may lead to deferral of the examination.


·         Cerebral aneurysm clip in the brain

·         Heart valve Replacement.

·         Intra-vascular stents, filters and coils

·         Ocular implants

·         Shrapnel injuries

·         Any other unknown implant until it has been determined as MRI safe