Two new MRI scanners at the Conquest Hospital in St Leonards were opened on Wednesday, July 17, by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, in the presence of an invited and enthusiastic audience.
A very successful £1 million appeal, organised by the Friends of Conquest Hospital, with the fundraising including a hilarious show by the comedian Jo Brand, has finally seen the completion of the building and installation of the scanners to replace the 13-year-old one. The second scanner was funded by the Friends of Bexhill Hospital and the suite is called after their Chairman, Stuart Earl, who sadly died recently. The building which holds these amazing machines was funded by the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT).
The Princess Royal, who opened the Conquest Hospital 26 years ago, had a tour of the new facilities and visited the children’s ward, before meeting representatives of the organisations and individuals who had together raised the money. These included the Friends of the Rye, Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital, with the deputy chairman and Friends chairman meeting the Princess. Always approachable and very interested in the contributions of all local organisations to the wider NHS, it was an honour to meet her.
The Chairman of ESHT, Mr Steve Phoenix, welcomed the Princess to the opening ceremony and in her response, she noted the importance of local organisations working together to fund large projects of great benefit to everyone. She acknowledged and thanked those involved, from the original idea to the final completion achieved over the past three years, and duly pulled the curtain on the memorial plaque.
MRI ( Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a key piece of kit for modern medicine. The Conquest Hospital carries out more than 7,500 scans a year and it is used to investigate any part of the body. Because it doesn’t use X-Rays, it is suitable for babies or pregnant women and is used in the diagnosis of a wide range of conditions, including stroke and cancers. It helps clinicians to plan focused treatments and assess their effectiveness. These new machines are quieter and quicker and will enhance patient well being.
On the major acute site in this area for trauma, orthopaedics, surgery and paediatrics, it will be of enormous value for all those needing such investigations in Rye, Winchelsea and the whole of the surrounding areas. This has been a really positive week for our local NHS, and it deserves wide celebration.
Image Credits: Gillian Roder .