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Health / MRI scanner fundraising target scaled down

THE £2 million target for the MRI scanner fundraising appeal has been reduced after the cost of installing a scanner in Shetland was revised.

The new goal, for purchasing a new scanner and housing it in a modular building within the grounds of the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick, is £1.65 million.

Shetland Health Board Endowment Fund trustee Colin Marsland said the reason the cost has reduced was because a modular unit needs less enabling works.

Marsland, who is also NHS Shetland’s finance director, said the decision to house the scanner in a modular building rather than a mobile unit like the breast screening unit currently parked at Clickimin was taken because it enables easier access for disabled people and those with other mobility difficulties.

A modular building can be aligned next to existing buildings at “reasonable cost while still allowing easier access for patients to and from the MRI scanning facility”.

Endowment fund trustees met last Friday to consider a report on the options for bringing a scanner to Shetland.

“Alongside keeping the campaign fundraising target as accurate as possible for the many community champion fundraisers, it is also needed to support future applications for grants and larger donations,” Marsland added.

The amount of money raised by the community so far is just over £200,000.

However, Marsland confirmed earlier this month that the team behind the appeal plan to approach Shetland Charitable Trust for a donation.

MRI scanners can diagnose cancer, strokes, heart conditions and many other conditions and it would complement a CT scanner that was bought for Shetland in 2007 following a massive public drive.

Having the MRI scanner at Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick should help cut out journeys to Aberdeen for the 675 Shetland patients per year who must travel south to have an MRI scan.