A home has been found for a brand new MRI scanner at The Friarage Hospital, as the final phase of a £2m fundraising campaign for the equipment gathers pace.
The potentially lifesaving Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner – used to detect numerous conditions in almost any part of the body – will be based at the Northallerton Hospital’s former special care baby unit – once the remaining £500,000 needed to secure it has been raised.
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust carries scans more than 27,000 patients every year.
Almost a quarter of these patients – 6,500 – live in Hambleton and Richmondshire and currently travel to Middlesbrough or Darlington for these important imaging tests.
But now a site in the former special care baby unit has been identified for the new scanner, Dr Sheamus Fitzgerald, a consultant radiologist at The Friarage, is looking forward to being able to offer this vital service closer to patients’ homes.
He said: “I’m delighted we can now reveal the new home for the scanner and it is fantastic to see the project progressing, thanks to the generosity and support of the people of North Yorkshire.
“The staff and I are looking forward to the day we can finally start scanning our local patients at The Friarage Hospital.”
South Tees Hospitals Charity now hopes to raise the final £500,000 needed for the new scanner by the end of the year.
Donations can be made by texting SCAN46 and an amount between £2 and £10 to 70070, or you can visit www.friaragescannerappeal.org.uk/mri/ for more ways to donate.
Those making a new donation and past supporters of the campaign are being urged to share their reasons for donating using #MyReasonIs – plus a picture – on Twitter @STeesCharity.
Those who are not on Twitter can still take part by emailing their picture and reason to email@example.com
All pictures will be used to create an online work of art reflecting the massive community support for the campaign at www.friaragescannerappeal.org.uk/mri/ where our #MyReasonIs posters are also available to download for your pictures.
Paul Watkins, South Tees’ head of fundraising and volunteering, said: “We’re so close to making it happen and we’re urging everyone to help us with this final push for the remaining £500,000.
“Whether it’s in memory of a loved one or to support the local community, there are endless motives for getting involved – so what’s your reason?”
Bill Waters, 85, of Northallerton, who has raised more than £6,000 for the appeal, kicked off the #MyReasonIs campaign and became a Twitter sensation by describing how the memory of his late wife Pamela spurred him on to raise funds.
“My wife would have wanted me to support this appeal,” he said.
Other supporters include Caz Pring, owner of the Natural Nature Wool Shop in Northallerton, who said her reason was “to keep vital services local and accessible for all to use.”
Lesley Wells, a team leader at Lewis and Cooper Fine Foods in Northallerton, added: “This will stop people having to travel to James Cook in Middlesbrough.”