A NEW machine at Salisbury District Hospital is set to help local children with heart conditions.

The portable echocardiogram machine in the children’s unit has been jointly funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the hospital’s Stars Appeal charity.

The Salisbury Children’s Echo Appeal was launched in September 2013 and it aimed to raise £30,252 for the machine, which produces a 3D image of the heart.

This helps doctors to diagnose the condition accurately and give children the best treatment available to them.

The total cost of the machine is £49,252 and the Stars Appeal contributed £19,000 towards it from their Caring for Kids Fund, which supports the children’s unit.

Previously, hundreds of children with heart conditions had to wait up to four months for a diagnostic test as the children’s department didn’t have their own echocardiogram machine, and families had to travel to other hospitals for this test.

Dave Cates, director of fundraising at the hospital, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the British Heart Foundation to fund this important piece of equipment. On behalf of the many hundreds of local children who will benefit, we would like to thank all our supporters and, of course, the team at the British Heart Foundation.”

Alison Rosier, community fundraising manager for BHF, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be able to present Salisbury District Hospital with the echo machine. We called on the people of Salisbury to get behind this appeal and they did, from donations to fundraising events. It’s absolutely fantastic to see the echo machine being used and benefiting local Salisbury children.”