Mobile X-Ray Screens vs Fixed X-Ray Screens

What’s the difference between mobile X-ray screens and fixed X-ray screens? Discover the pros and cons of both to see which one your organisation should invest in.

From August 2020 to August 2021, 19,636,410 X-ray tests were performed by the NHS alone. With so many procedures taking place in the UK, organisations must provide essential X-ray protection to shield staff from potentially harmful radiation.

Density is the most reliable factor for radiation safety, so the best type of protection comes in the form of a physical barrier, known in the industry as an X-ray screen. As technology has advanced over the past two to three decades, so has the evolution of the x-ray screenBut with the potential for radiographers, physicians, and medical staff to utilise fixed or mobile X-ray screens, which one is best for your medical practice?

What is a mobile X-ray screen?

Mobile radiation screens are applied in medical environments to protect personnel from radioactive equipment. Quality assurance requirements are statuary across all X-ray protective equipment, including mobile X-ray screens. The typical features and specifications of a mobile X-ray screen include:

  • Being manufactured to the latest NHS HTM (health technical memoranda), infection control standards, and approved by RPA (Radiation Protection Advisers)
  • Hygiene friendly wipeable surfaces
  • Customisable options can be applied, such as size, colour, worktops, shelves and storage boxes
  • Heavy-duty steel legs with aluminium wheels
  • Leaded X-ray shielding glass

The go-to material used for X-ray protection is lead. Lead is renowned for its ability to protect from radiation, alongside its high Z number, strong density, and low cost. Therefore, making it the ideal mobile X-ray screen material. The Raybloc Mobile X-Ray Screen is designed with a unique screen feature and rounded U-shape edging, allowing for durability and smooth functionality in all environments.
X-ray screen - raybloc xray protection

What is a fixed X-ray screen?

A fixed X-ray screen is built permanently within clinical environments such as dental surgeries, radiology departments and veterinary surgeries. Typical features and specifications for a fixed X-ray screen include:

  • Being made to the latest NHS HTM and infection control standards with RPA approval
  • MEGN 2 (Medical Guidance Notes) compliance
  • Multiple structural variations and configurations include hinged, freestanding, wall-mounted, straight, and winged.
  • Leaded shielding glass and hygiene friendly wipeable gloss laminate surfaces

Lead thickness for fixed X-ray screens is determined and approved by the RPA. These thickness standards for lead protection against radiation are based on the British Standard codes. The minimum recommended height is 2 meters for panoramic with one-meter panels and another meter reserved for the lead glass. There are various versions of fixed X-ray screens available, such as Modular or Operator.

Modular Fixed X-Ray Screens - Raybloc X-Ray Protection

The benefits of a mobile X-ray screen

Portable/mobile X-ray machines perform an important duty to serve patients in various scenarios such as intensive care units, nursing homes, prisons, or homeless shelters. As important as the X-ray machine is for mobility, so should the protection against it. 


The National Library of Medicine reported 74% of all portable chest X-rays were ordered as STAT. The necessity to quickly protect staff is crucial and is made feasible via a mobile X-ray screen. A mobile x-ray screen is transportable to a patient’s bedside in significantly less time than transporting the patient to a specific X-ray room.

Less risk

Having the ability to protect staff with mobile X-ray screens means patients don’t need to be transported. This solution limits the risk and complications involved with transporting patients. Depending on the severity of the injury or illness, this risk of transportation can potentially endanger the patient’s life and should be avoided if necessary. 


Mobile X-ray screens can be safely stored, leaving room for other procedures to occupy the area. Its convenient size is particularly useful for environments that aren’t solely dedicated to performing X-rays. For example, a vet who might only occasionally need to take X-ray images of injured pets can perform these examinations with greater protection while having room to work when X-rays are not taking place.


X-ray protection being portable also encourages efficient and streamlined workflow with surgeries and practices. For example, a patient can be X-rayed anywhere within reason, which creates an efficient and fast-moving environment with fewer complications.

The benefits of a fixed X-ray screen

For decades, fixed X-ray screens contribute a crucial role in the safety of medical personnel along with the overall functionality and practicality which continues to improve year on year.


As a standard, most fixed X-ray screen manufacturers will produce customisable fixed screen solutions for their clients. Unlike the mobile X-ray screen, which prioritises mobility, a fixed X-ray screen is concerned with comfort and can operate as a workstation as much as a protective screen. Traditionally, the fixed X-ray screen is larger to accommodate various customisable features, such as shelving, whiteboards, drawers, and dispensers.


A fixed X-ray screen offers accurate results due to the consistent and stable environment. Because the space is reserved specifically for X-ray procedures, there is less exposure to interfering light or other external disturbances. The accuracy of X-ray results undoubtedly remains more consistent within a fixed screen environment. Image quality improves, and subsequent interpretation and clinical action are less affected due to communication between the physician and radiologist being maintained in ideal conditions.

What are the differences between mobile X-ray screens and fixed X-ray screens?

A mobile X-ray screen is portable, meaning it can be transported and removed from areas at the convenience and appropriateness of the staff who require or don’t require it. This makes mobile X-ray screens much more versatile.

The fixed X-ray screen is situated permanently, so it’s more likely to deliver accurate and consistent X-ray results. As fixed X-ray screens are typically larger, they can accommodate more customisable features and offer a more functional workstation for staff.

Overall, mobile X-ray screens suit a situation where X-rays occur infrequently and in less consistent places. Fixed screens on the hand suit an environment dedicated to X-ray procedures.

With this in mind, choosing the right solution comes down to your current environment and what space you have available.

Let us help you choose between a mobile and fixed X-ray screen

If you’re on the market for a mobile or fixed X-ray screen, get in touch with Raybloc. We established our business during the 1990s and have become a leader in X-ray protective equipment.

Over the years, we’ve supplied X-ray screen solutions to various sectors such as hospitals, private practices, dentists, vets, industrial, commercial, nuclear and the military. All our mobile and fixed X-ray screens are pre-built in our specified workshop and can be fit to precision on-site by our experienced carpenters. To find out more, speak to our friendly team today.


What is better, portable or fixed X-ray protection?

Both mobile and stationary screens have their place in radiation shielding. Where space is a concern, mobile screens are the superior option – their small size and mobility means you can move them into position as and when required, and moved aside when out of use. Fixed operator screens are a staple to any medical imaging facility – they create a perfect workspace for radiographers operating medical imaging equipment, and with our frameless design, create little obstruction in the room whilst providing complete X-ray protection. All of our screens are made bespoke to suit your exact shielding requirements.

How much does a mobile X-ray barrier cost?

The cost of a mobile protective barrier depends on various attributes such as the width, the size of your vision panel, and the lead equivalence that you require. To give you an indication of the price, a code 3 mobile unit at 1m wide, 2m tall, with a flush 300mm x 300mm vision panel would cost you approximately £2,200 + VAT.

To find out more about our X-ray door sets, download our eBook today.

Lead Lined Wall Panelling

Do not skip corners when it comes to radiation protection. It is what shields you, your staff, and your patients from harmful radiation. There is no compromise when it comes to people’s lives.

Call today to speak to one of our x-ray protection experts on 01902 633383 or email Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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