Bournemouth Open Upright MRI

Patient, healthcare professional, or researcher, learn all about our Bournemouth Open Upright MRI. Contact us, by calling 01202 436276

AECC University College Open Upright MRI services are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). To read the latest CQC inspection online please visit the CQC website.

Download referral form

We accept referrals from healthcare professionals who are registered with a public healthcare regulatory body. For more details on how to make a referral please read the 'how to make a referral' section below.  More information on prices.

Preparing for an MRI

Prepare for your appointment in advance. Read what happens when you get here and what happens afterwards in our first visit guide. Any questions or concerns please get in touch with the MRI team on 01202 436276.

 Preparing for an Mri guide

Open Upright MRI Notice

In light of recent developments, extra safety measures have been put in place in the Ultrasound clinic. It is now mandatory for all staff and students who work in the clinic building to undertake Asymptomatic Testing for COVID 19 before undertaking clinical duties.

For further advice on how we are operating during Covid-19 please speak to one of the reception team members on 01202 436 276. Or leave us a message on the form below.  

How to make a referral

To make sure we’re providing quality provision, our MRI service is available on a referral only basis. We accept referrals from healthcare professionals who are registered with a public healthcare regulatory body, so if you’re a patient and think our Open Upright MRI could help you, let your doctor know. Your doctor can download our referral form or email the team and we can send a form out to them.

We can’t accept emailed referrals, so please fax us on 01202 422009

Remember to pay attention to the safety questions on the referral form - it will help us process your patients referral quicker.

We’ll contact your patient and arrange the appointment after we receive the form. We’ve put together a preparing for an MRI guide
 so your patient can find out what to expect during and after their visit.


Download referral Form


About Open Upright MRI Scanning

Our Open Upright MRI scanner has been a fantastic addition to our growing list of special imaging facilities. Arriving in 2014, our Open Upright MRI scanner has become a popular facility to accommodate patients where breathing, flexibility or claustrophobia are problematic.

Patients will need to be referred by their doctor or healthcare professional for our MRI service. If you are a patient, you can speak with your doctor about our service and they can download a referral form

There are many benefits to Open Upright MRIs over conventional scanners. With an estimated 10% of the UK suffering from claustrophobia, our scanner helps as the patient is not in an enclosed space - meaning they can see up and out of the scanner.

We’re a private scanning centre and are happy to accept NHS or insured patients with funding. Don’t hesitate to speak with us if you have any questions about the clinic, payments or our treatments and services.

Discover more about our Open upright MRI services

Information for Healthcare Professionals

Bournemouth Open Upright MRI is a 0.5T open scanner and uses two magnesium diboride superconducting coils (instead of copper) mounted on the inside faces of a solid magnet. The coils allow it to operate at a higher temperature than conventional scanners, using essentially no cryogen. These lower field scanners, which of necessity give lower resolution images, are especially useful for patients with musculoskeletal conditions, or those who are anxious or claustrophobic.

Our open upright MRI can offer scans in a variety of positions that are not possible in a closed magnet, as well as in weight bearing and non-weight bearing positions. Weight bearing scans are typically asked for to determine the influence of axial loads on soft tissues. A likely application is the investigation of dynamic stenosis in the lumbar spine – comparing loaded and unloaded configurations. These configurations may also be requested to confirm latent forms of spinal canal encroachment and compressive radiculopathy.

You should be aware that weight bearing scanning runs the risk of movement artefact on the images and results in a trade-off between clinical need and image quality. Adequate clinical justification is therefore needed for them.

Information for Patients

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging and uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of the inside of your body. Conventional scanners - those you’ll see in most hospitals - take these images while you lie down in a tube. You’ll hear some noises while the scanner works, but you won’t feel a thing.

MRI is a very safe procedure which millions of people undergo every year. However, certain safety checks in relation to the presence of pacemakers, medical implants in the body, metal in clothing and embedded metal splinters (for example in the eyes) are necessary because of the strong magnetic field. These need to be excluded before any scan and there is a series of checks to ensure this, starting when we receive the referral form from your health professional and begin to arrange your appointment.

Our team of trained radiographers are there to support you through your scan and one of our Consultant Radiologists will interpret your images, this written report will be sent directly to your referrer within 2 working days. If you’re preparing for your visit, this preparing for an MRI guide will give you all the information you will need.

Preparing for an MRI guide

Photos of MRI scanning positions

For details on how we manage and protect information about you, please read our patient privacy policy.

Information for Researchers

Access to the MRI is based on a competitive bidding system, and our Bournemouth Open Upright MRI team will review each bid and make a decision from there.

We’ll give priority to projects that have detailed imaging protocols and plans for imaging analysis, clear and tangible outcomes, a well-articulated and justified time frame (including number of scans, length of scanning time, duration of study), are feasible in regards to resource implications to the Imaging Centre and work streams, have National Research Ethical approval, and are able to cover their own costs for scanning.

Speak to the Clinical Director for Special Imaging for advice if you’re developing a protocol or grant application. They’ll be happy to help.
Contact the clinical director of special imaging

How to find us

You can find us in the clinic on the AECC University College campus, in Bournemouth, Dorset. There’s free parking onsite (car park 2) and on the roads around the campus.

Our address:

Bournemouth Open Upright MRI
Parkwood Campus
Parkwood Road

What Three Words

Our What3Words address is ///bottle.secret.echo which is more specific that our postcode. You can enter it into the free what3words app, or desktop map to find us hassle-free.


Transport links

Opening times

Our normal opening times are Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm. 

We can be contacted at

Clinical Services - Meet the Team
Bournemouth Open Upright MRI

The Bournemouth Open Upright MRI team consists of Radiographers, professional services, and a team of Consultant Radiologists.  You can find out more about our Radiologists here

Melanie Jones

Superintendent MRI Radiographer
Mrs Melanie Hart BA, BSc (Hons), MSc 

Melanie Hart set up the Bournemouth Open Upright MRI service in June 2014. Previously Melanie worked at Oxford University’s Acute Vascular Imaging Centre, where she was a Senior Research Radiographer. She qualified as a Radiographer in 1996 from the University of Portsmouth and commenced MRI training in 2002. Since then, Mel has gained a BA in law, criminology and social policy, an MSc in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and has managed NHS, Private and Research MRI units.

Debbie Horne

Senior MRI Radiographer
Ms Debbie Horne DCR (R)

Debbie Horne qualified as a diagnostic radiographer in 1988 from The Ipswich School of Radiography (now part of the University of Suffolk) and started her career at Ipswich Hospital. In 1992 she moved to Swindon and began to specialise in cross-sectional imaging (CT and MRI scanning) and during this time also had the pleasure of working in Australia as part of a ‘job exchange’. In 1998 an opportunity arose to help set up a new MRI service in Salisbury. A change of direction came in 2002 when Debbie went to work for GE as an MRI product specialist.

In 2005 she returned to clinical practice in Salisbury working there till 2015 when she joined the team at the Bournemouth Open Upright MRI as part of the AECC University College. One of her most exciting ‘work related’ opportunities came in 2012 when she was one of the volunteers in the medical team at London 2012 providing MRI scanning for the athletes and support teams in the Olympic village.

Common questions

I believe the Open Upright MRI scanner has a great future. I was apprehensive as I have been in pain for several weeks and could not lie still on the flat... You soon put me at ease and I was delighted.



Get in Touch

Want to know more about our Bournemouth Open Upright MRI scanner and services, or need to ask a question?

Please send us an enquiry using the form at the base of this page.



Should you wish to refer a patient to Bournemouth Open Upright MRI, please download a referral form and return to us via Egress secure email (a service you need to sign up for) to, by Fax (01202 418793) or by post
Download Referral form

Bournemouth Open Upright MRI Enquiry

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