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Diagnostic Imaging Services

Private Diagnostic Imaging Services at Kings Park Hospital in Stirling.

The diagnostic imaging department at King’s Park Hospital in Stirling works closely with consultants to assist in finding a diagnosis using plain-film radiography (x-ray) and ultrasound, which could potentially save the need for further tests.

Both modalities produce images of your body. X-rays use radiation to create a picture, while ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to make a scanned image. Our highly trained radiographers and radiologists perform these non-invasive procedures regularly and have decades of experience.

Radiographers ‘take the pictures’, while radiologists are qualified doctors who specialise in radiology and report on the findings of an x-ray or scan.

Our diagnostic department includes one main x-ray room, which is sometimes also used for ultrasound procedures. If the imaging room is not available, we would carry out the scan in one of our treatment rooms.

Diagnostic imaging is often a starting point for consultants to help them answer questions or rule something out. For example, the result may mean you don’t need anything more invasive; or it could give your consultant an answer to your problem and how to approach possible treatment. 


X-ray is used mainly for orthopaedic work, namely looking at bones and assessing joints for arthritic or other changes. 

We also take chest x-rays to rule out underlying chest conditions to do with the lungs, such as tuberculosis (TB), cancer or emphysema. Cardiologists (heart specialists) may request chest x-rays to assess the size of the heart.

Plain abdominal x-rays are not carried out very often today, but we offer ‘transit studies’. This involves swallowing a capsule that contains radio-opaque pellets, or markers that will show up on an x-ray that is taken five days later. This examination gives an indication of the speed of transit through the bowel and our consultant gastroenterologists may request a transit study for patients experiencing bloating or stomach discomfort.

We take most x-rays in our dedicated room, but we also have mobile x-ray equipment to take to the ward if you are bed-bound and are unable to come to the department.

Another service we offer is x-rays for pre-immigration or pre-employment screening, which embassies and employers require to rule out conditions such as TB before people enter their country or before starting a new job.

Image intensifier (C-arm)

The department is well equipped and includes a C-arm image intensifier that uses x-rays in theatre to give consultants a real time image. 

Image intensifiers are often used by orthopaedic surgeons. It allows them to see precisely where they are and is particularly helpful when injecting steroids into small joints such as those in the wrist. It is also used when pins, plates or screws are inserted into bones and may be used following an open reduction of a fracture to ensure alignment.

Neurosurgeons also use it whilst removing a disc (microdiscectomy) in your spine to ensure they are working at the correct level.


Another diagnostic imaging service we offer is ultrasound. Doctors refer patients to us for imaging to look at organs in the abdomen, testes as well as lumps and bumps under the skin such as cysts or lipomas, and vascular problems such as varicose veins.

Our cardiologists perform echocardiograms, a type of ultrasound procedure involving the heart, and our gynaecologists do internal trans-vaginal (inside the vagina) ultrasound scans to look at the pelvic organs.

Our ultrasound machines are portable. Like our mobile x-ray machine, we can carry out the scans in the ward, theatre or our outpatient department if required. 

MRI and CT scans

We don’t have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) equipment at Kings Park Hospital. But we can refer you to our sister hospital, The Ross Hall Hospital in Glasgow, if you need either service. 

Should you live further afield in Scotland, we can arrange for you to have an MRI or CT scan at the Clinical Research Centre at the University of Dundee, with whom we have an arrangement.

As part of the Ionising Radiation Medical Exposure Regulations (IR(ME)R) a doctor registered with the General Medical Council must refer for an x-ray due to the involvement of radiation. It’s a legal requirement, so, unfortunately, you can’t self-refer for the service. This referral can be from your GP or any consultant, whether that be a consultant you’ve seen at Kings Park Hospital or anywhere else.

If you are referred, we will contact you to book you in for your x-ray at a time that suits you. We often work extended hours which enables us to offer evening appointments if necessary. Ultrasound scans are carried out by our consultants at dedicated sessions during the week. If you are in the hospital seeing one of our consultants in our clinics, and they advise you need an x-ray, this can be carried out during your consultation.

You won’t need to wait to be seen, your consultant may take you directly to the diagnostic imaging department after your consultation or ask you to remain in reception, and one of our radiographers will come and collect you.

Usually no preparation is required for an x-ray. We may ask you to remove any jewellery that may show up on the x-ray, for example, taking off any rings if you are getting a hand x-ray. In addition, depending on the part of the body you are having x-rayed, you may need to change into a gown. It helps to ensure nothing on your clothing gets in the way of making a diagnosis, such as a button, zip, logo or bra strap.

Our x-ray department is self-contained. Once the outer door is closed, we light up the Do Not Enter sign, ensuring the changing room and the x-ray room are isolated to provide privacy.

Where you’ll sit, stand or lie depends on which body part we’re imaging. For chest, shoulder and knee x-rays, you’ll probably stand up. For hand and elbow x-rays, the radiographer will ask you to sit on a chair at the side of the table and rest your hand on it before taking the image. 

The consultant that referred you for the x-ray will receive a copy of it. They will be able to view the images with you to discuss the findings and possible treatment. 

For ultrasound, we book scans appointments in advance due to the preparation required.

We will advise you on what you need to do at the time of booking. For example, you may need to fast before the scan or come in with a full bladder.

The radiologist will report what they find informally to you during or straight after your ultrasound scan. If there’s something concerning, they may advise that further investigations are needed. They’ll get back to the consultant with a written report of the findings and may suggest further investigations or tests.

We don’t have waiting lists at the hospital so any diagnostic procedures can take place promptly and at a time to suit you, helping you get to a diagnosis quickly.

We are a small friendly hospital which enables us to provide each patient with a personal touch and an unrushed appointment. 

We have the latest equipment and have upgraded from printing x-rays onto film to a picture archiving and communication system (PACS), which processes and stores electronic digital images and also allows us to exchange images between institutions.

PACS also speeds up our processes. The image shows up on a computer screen in the x-ray room; the radiographer checks the images, ensures they are diagnostic, annotates it and sends it to the consultant who can see your images before you return to visit them in their clinic.

The hospital is easy to access in central Stirling, and we have free parking.