THE CT scanner, bought after the people of Salisbury raised an incredible £650,000 in just eight months, has arrived at Salisbury District Hospital.

In three weeks’ time, the first patients are due to be scanned by the new state-of-the-art machine which is quicker, produces more detailed images and can be used to detect a wider range of conditions.

The fundraising campaign, led by hospital charity the Stars Appeal, was so successful that funding was secured for another new CT scanner which will be in use from November.

This machine will be the most advanced on the market and Salisbury District Hospital will be the first in the country to have one.

Having two of the latest CT scanners means that hospital doctors can scan patients more quickly to diagnose their problems and start treatment.

When the Journal first launched the CT Scanner Appeal last May, no-one anticipated the overwhelming support from the local community and how quickly the money would be raised.

“It was a whirlwind,” said consultant radiologist Dr Christopher Watts. “We had no idea the appeal would take off in that way and it was very moving to have such widespread support from patients and the community.

“From couples giving us the money they received as presents for their golden wedding anniversary to people doing charity challenges and giving private donations, everyone played their part.

“CT scanners are used in all areas of medicine and every family in Salisbury could benefit - I think people really appreciated that.”

Two scanners will mean shorter waiting times and patients won’t need to be sent to other hospitals if the machine breaks down or needs servicing.

The new technology means that patients with some bowel, colonic and heart conditions can receive CT scans instead of more invasive diagnostic procedures.

And the two new scanners will give off lower doses of radiation.

Around 12,000 Salisbury patients a year need CT scans and they are vital in the detection of cancers, strokes and injuries.

The Stars Appeal’s programme of major events including Walk for Wards, The Rockbourne Fair and the Tidworth 10k supported the CT scanner campaign which was boosted by individual donations and the fundraising talents of the people of Salisbury.

“Without them and the support of the Salisbury Journal, which played a crucial role, we would not have raised the money for this scanner,” said chairman of the Stars Appeal Toddy Westropp.

“Everyone should be incredibly proud.”