A MAJOR donation and more successful fundraising means Salisbury District Hospital is able to have not just one new CT scanner, but two.

Last year, the people of Salisbury rallied round to raise an incredible £650,000 to buy a desperately needed second CT scanner, which will benefit 12,000 patients a year.

That scanner is set to arrive in the autumn and means that thousands of stroke, cancer, heart and emergency patients will be able to have potentially life-saving scans more quickly.

Now, thanks to a big anonymous donation from a local charitable trust and ongoing fundraising events for hospital charity the Stars Appeal, enough money has been raised to trade in the overworked original CT scanner and upgrade it to a new, state-of-the art machine.

This upgraded machine will be delivered in the summer and will be able to offer more detailed imaging to help doctors diagnose a wide range of illnesses and injuries more quickly.

With two of the latest CT scanners in the hospital’s radiology department, waiting times will be reducing, meaning that patients can start treatment as soon as possible.

Some patients will have scans instead of minor operations and fewer people will have to travel to other hospitals for diagnostic procedures. And there will be an alternative machine available if the other one breaks down or needs servicing.

Dr Nick Marsden, chairman of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are hugely grateful to these generous local supporters for their continued support of our charity, the Stars Appeal. “Their wonderful gift combined with those from the many other local people and organisations who have so brilliantly supported this campaign will mean that our patients will soon have access to some of the best CT diagnostics possible.”

Consultant surgeon and chairman of the CT Scanner Campaign Helen Chave said: “When we set out to raise money for the second CT scanner we could never have dreamed that, less than a year on, we would be in a position to fund two brand new machines. “The news of this very significant and generous contribution really is the icing on the cake for us, and I would like to thank everybody who supports the Stars Appeal and has helped to make this wonderful outcome possible." When both new scanners are in place the Stars Appeal is planning a celebratory event at which donors and supporters can see the new technology in action. Anyone wishing to attend can email info@starsappeal.org to register their interest.