SALISBURY District Hospital is halfway to a second MRI scanner after generous volunteers, fundraisers and donors raised £750,000 for the Stars Appeal.

Since the charity launched its appeal in November, Journal readers have helped to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds towards this vital equipment, which will cost £1.5 million.

The hospital’s existing scanner is running at full capacity, meaning patients sometimes have to wait longer for essential scans, or travel to hospitals in Bournemouth or Southampton to receive a diagnosis.

About 10,000 people will benefit each year from a second scanner, which will cut waiting times and help hospital staff make accurate diagnoses more quickly without patients needing to travel to other hospitals.

Our readers have already helped the Stars Appeal buy a second CT scanner and open a specialist breast care unit in the past five years.

The charity’s president, Lord Pembroke, thanked all supporters and said the milestone was a “reflection of just how incredible the community has been at getting together to rally behind this appeal”.

“With this momentum behind us I hope we can go on to achieve our target of a second MRI scanner in record time and start improving the lives of many thousands of local patients and their families,” he added.

The second scanner will allow hospital staff to diagnose conditions more quickly with faster, better and more accessible scans, to get patients home as soon as possible.

It will use the very latest technology for cutting edge diagnostic techniques including cardiac and prostate MRI.

MRI can be used to diagnose cancer, heart conditions, strokes, brain injury, tumours and many more conditions, and is used for people of all ages.

And doctors from all hospital departments are united in their bid for the new machine.

Graham Branagan is a consultant surgeon and chairman of the MRI scanner campaign, and he said he was “overwhelmed” by the amount raised.

“It is incredibly heartening,” he said. “However, the fact that this is our largest ever Stars Appeal target means that there is still some way to go and the ongoing commitment of all our supporters is welcomed.”

Consultant urologist Melissa Davies added: “The urology team would like to express their thanks and gratitude to all of those who have donated so far.

“We are now striving to reach our target as soon as possible to improve the prostate cancer service here at Salisbury District Hospital.”

And consultant opthalmologist Roger Humphry said: “The tremendous response to the MRI Scanner campaign so far is a reflection of the value, affection and esteem in which Salisbury Hospital is held.”

You can help the campaign by attending fundraising events, organising one yourself, or making a donation using the form on this page or at