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Information for patients undergoing CT examinations at the North Cambridgeshire Hospital site in Wisbech

Patient information A-Z

This information is for all patients undergoing CT examinations at the North Cambridgeshire Hospital site in Wisbech.

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new Government strategy at the North Cambridgeshire Hospital in Wisbech. Community Diagnostic Centres have been introduced to reduce the current waiting lists following the Covid-19 pandemic and to make diagnostic imaging more accessible to everyone by situating these facilities in the community.

This new CT service is overseen by Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) NHS Foundation Trusts. You are receiving this leaflet because your scan has been booked to take place at the Wisbech Community Diagnostic Centre unit instead of at CUH CT department.

A CT scanner uses x-rays to obtain images which will help the doctors plan your future treatment. The CT scanner will be on a mobile unit. You will be lying on the scanner couch which moves through a large hole in the middle of the scanner. Most of the time you can see out of one side or the other, and the radiographer who is doing the scan will be able to speak to you through an intercom.

A map showing the location of North Cambridgeshire Hospital in Wisbech. Disabled parking, parking and CDC reception are labelled.
Site address: North Cambridgeshire Hospital, The Park, Churchill Rd, Wisbech, PE13 3AB

It is important to tell us beforehand on 01223 808892 if:

  • you are pregnant
  • you are claustrophobic
  • you have kidney problems
  • you are unable to lie flat
  • you weigh 125kg or more
  • you need hospital transport
  • you have mobility issues.

What to do when you arrive

Please allow time to park your vehicle. There is limited parking on-site, additional parking is available at the Horsefair Car Park located at PE13 1AR (2.2m height restriction). Parking at the Horsefair is free of charge for the first 3 hours and is approximately 5 -10 minutes’ walk from the hospital site. There is disabled parked close to the scanner. Please see map for all parking options.

On arrival at the North Cambridgeshire hospital site in Wisbech, please report to the community diagnostic centre (CDC) reception area, (please see map, do not report to the radiology department) your registration details will be checked prior to your scan. Please bring this letter with you on the day. There is limited seating available, however, you are welcome to bring along one relative or friend.

Preparing for your scan

  • Eat and drink normally before and after your scan unless the appointment letter gives you specific instructions.
  • Take all prescribed medications on the day of your scan as usual, unless otherwise advised on your appointment letter.

What will happen on the day of the scan?

  • This will depend on what type of scan you are having. The radiographer will explain the procedure to you before your scan.
  • Many CT examinations involve having a dye injection to increase the quality of information obtained from the scan.
  • A small cannula may be inserted into a vein in your arm. The dye will be injected through this. It contains iodine and is not radioactive.
  • The injection usually causes nothing more than a warm feeling passing around your body.
  • Most scans last 15 to 20 minutes.
  • You might be given breathing instructions to follow during your scan.

How long will I be in the department?

This will depend on the type of scan you are having, but expect to be with us between 30 minutes to an hour. This includes preparation, explanation, scan and post-scan procedures.

What happens after my scan?

  • Most people will be free to go home.
  • You may eat and drink as normal.
  • Continue to drink plenty of fluids for the remainder of the day, especially if you have been given an injection.


CT scans can give doctors information to help them diagnose a variety of conditions. The scans can help to confirm or rule out a suspected diagnosis, or occasionally identify a condition that was not suspected.

Unlike other imaging methods, a CT scan can give a detailed view of lots of different tissue types in the body, including lungs, bones, soft tissues and blood vessels.


  • The scan involves exposure to radiation in the form of x-rays. However, the amount you are exposed to during the scan is very small.
  • If you have an injection you may get a warm flush feeling, a sensation of ‘passing water’, and a metallic taste in your mouth.
  • Very rarely there may be bruising at the site of the injection.

When will I get my results?

  • The radiographer (healthcare professional performing your scan) will check that all the images have been obtained to the required standard. They will not be able to give you your results at that time.
  • The radiologist (qualified doctor) will report on the scan and send a detailed report to the doctor who referred you.
  • The results will then be discussed with you at your next clinic appointment.


Thanks to the Royal College of Radiologists and NHS Choices.

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151