Appeal launched to fund new MRI scanner for the Conquest Hospital

L-R: Simon Baer FRCS, Dr Lesley Apthorp FRCR, Michael Foster and Douglas Flint CBE at the launch of the Conquest MRI scanner appeal. SUS-170324-111659001
L-R: Simon Baer FRCS, Dr Lesley Apthorp FRCR, Michael Foster and Douglas Flint CBE at the launch of the Conquest MRI scanner appeal. SUS-170324-111659001

A £1million fundraising appeal for a much-needed new MRI scanner for the Conquest Hospital was launched by East Sussex High Sheriff Michael Foster at the farewell event for his year in office.

The former MP for Hastings and Rye is a Patron of the appeal, and said that a new scanner is vital.

Launch of Conquest MRI Scanner Appeal at Hastings Museum. SUS-170324-111718001

Launch of Conquest MRI Scanner Appeal at Hastings Museum. SUS-170324-111718001

“The current MRI Scanner at the Conquest, which is the acute hospital for 400,000 people in Hastings and St Leonards, Bexhill, Battle, Rye and surrounding areas, is now 13 years old and outdated,” he said.

“Over 8,500 MRI scans were performed at the Conquest last year, but the hospital is unable to meet the ever growing demand for this essential item of equipment, resulting in an increasing number of patients having to be travel elsewhere, often to London.”

Douglas Flint, the chairman of the appeal and group chairman of HSBC, added: “We want to make sure that all local residents can benefit from the many advantages that a modern, state-of-the-art MRI Scanner will bring. It will be better, faster, quieter, and more effective in the early detection of a wide range of medical conditions including prolapsed discs, fractures and prostate cancer.

“With the valuable help of the Friends of both the Conquest and Bexhill Hospital, we have raised over £500,000 of our £1m target prior to the launch, and are now asking everyone to rally round to help us achieve our very important goal.”

Dr Lesley Apthorp, consultant radiologist at the Conquest, said: “Our existing MRI scanner is unsuitable for many of our patients, including babies, and people requiring cardiac, prostate and small bowel scans or suffering from claustrophobia. Technology has moved on enormously since it was purchased in 2004, with improved imaging quality now enabling much more effective diagnosis, analysis and treatment of strokes and many types of cancer.”

Because of the very substantial cost of a new MRI scanner, the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which manages the Conquest Hospital, is unable to purchase it, but has agreed to fund the building of a new suite to house it.

Subject to the success of the appeal, it is intended that the new scanner will be installed and operational by Autumn 2018.

The campaign, which has been named Conquest25 MRI Scanner Appeal, has been organised by the Friends of the Conquest to coincide with the hospital’s 25th anniversary.

Donations should be made out to Conquest Scanner Appeal and sent to The Appeal Office, Conquest Hospital, The Ridge, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex, TN37 7RD or made online via www.conquestlof.org.uk/mridonate, where donation forms to be sent in with cheques are downloadable.

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