Doctors have applauded new ultrasound machines that have arrived at an East London hospital.

Staff at Queen's Hospital Emergency Department in Romford have unveiled four new cutting-edge ultrasound machines hailed as "the new stethoscope" to help examine patients quickly and accurately.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, which owns Queen's Hospital, invested around £170,000.

The portable point-of-care ultrasound machines feature a hand-held ultrasound probe meaning it can simply be wheeled into position allowing doctors to get immediate ultrasound imaging to aid diagnosis, treatment and decision making.

Emergency Department consultant Darryl Wood said: "These machines are the future – think of them as the new stethoscope. There are so many benefits.

"For us in the Emergency Department we often need to do things quickly and accurately – there and then. So this will enable that, but it’s also going to help us with making decisions for treating and referring patients earlier.

"For example, if a patient comes in with a suspected fracture, we can use this device straight away to confirm that, and make an immediate, informed decision about the next steps – perhaps that’s referring for an x-ray, and immediately we could provide appropriate pain relief and immobilise the injury.

"Just this week we had a case with an elderly patient. While attempting to resuscitate her, it was very difficult to determine how her heart was responding, and whether it was the right thing to do. We used the ultrasound to make the decision that it was not the best thing to continue. It helps the clinicians, and it was the most dignified thing for the patient.

"Using this technology is a mandatory requirement for registrar training, so it’s really valuable as a learning opportunity, and will help us showcase the Trust as a great place for doctors to develop. We will also use this technology to do some exciting and valuable research."

Queen's Hospital has one of the busiest emergency wards in London, and it now has six of the units which is believed to be the most in the capital.