A fundraising appeal has been launched to bring the latest
state-of-the-art MRI scanning technology to Darlington Memorial and
Bishop Auckland Hospitals.
The appeal which is being run by the official Charity of County
Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust aims to raise £2.5m
for two new scanners which will provide much improved images and a
better experience for patients.
Dr Elizabeth Loney, Clinical Director for Radiology, explains,
"MRI scans are particularly good at looking at soft tissues.
Tremendous advances in technology over recent years mean they can
be enormously helpful in diagnosing cancer, heart conditions,
strokes and many other health issues. Scans can also give
doctors information that previously required the patient to undergo
surgery or another invasive procedure as part of the investigation
of their symptoms. Crucially, MRI scanners don't use
"MRI scans are so useful we're doing more of them each
year. In the last year alone the number of MRI scans has
increased by 11%.
"In the past, some patients have been unable to tolerate the
noise or have felt claustrophobic during the scan which can result
in it being abandoned. An MRI scan can take between 30
minutes and an hour - much longer than people may realise, so
comfort is really important. Modern scanners have a choice of
music the patient can listen to - they can even bring their
"We're re-developing the whole MRI suite at Darlington.
Changing and waiting areas will provide greater privacy.
Anaesthetic facilities will be improved which will particularly
benefit children who can't lie still in the scanner.
"An MRI scanner is one of the most expensive pieces of equipment
a hospital will ever purchase and with the NHS facing huge
financial challenges we need to seek public help in buying
them. We're lucky to have the support of Rotary Club
Darlington with their great fundraising track record.
"We've already had donations from people happy with the care
they or a loved one has received, regardless of whether they had a
scan. We'd love the whole community, including individuals,
companies, schools, sports clubs etc, to support us by holding
events such as coffee mornings, cake sales and sponsored activities
in aid of the Scanner Appeal. Every pound counts. After all,
you never know when you or a loved one might need a scan.
"We're happy to offer support and advice and will be publicising
events and fundraising on the CDDFT website."
If you would like to make a donation to our MRI appeal or get
7 February 2017
'I would like to thank all the staff for my treatment and their
Patient, Cardiology Department, Bishop Auckland Hospital