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Community / Pelagic fishermen to donate £100,000 to MRI scanner appeal

Presenting £100,000 to Lorraine Hall of NHS Shetland (centre) are from left to right: Tommy Eunson (Serene); George William Anderson (Adenia); Davie Hutchison (Charisma); Una Simpson, (SFPO); Gary Williamson (Research), Allister Irvine (Zephyr); Raymond Stewart (Antarctic II); Lowrie Irvine (Antares) and Brian Isbister (SFPO). Photo: SFPO

THE FUNDRAISING appeal for a MRI scanner to be located in the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick has received a massive boost from the local pelagic fishing industry.

The families who own the seven Whalsay based pelagic midwater trawlers – Adenia, Antarctic II, Antares, Charisma, Research, Serene and Zephyr – have come together to donate £100,000 to the appeal.

Chairman of the Shetland Fishermen’s Association (SFA) pelagic committee and skipper of the Charisma, Davie Hutchison, said the families hope this contribution would help to stimulate the fund further by enabling its organisers to lever in additional funding from local and national sources.

“The case for the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick to have its own MRI scanner, which is used to diagnose and monitor a huge variety of medical conditions, is overwhelming,” Hutchison said.

“It will result in big savings in travel costs and reduce stress and inconvenience for patients.

“The pelagic fishermen all felt very strongly that this project will bring real benefit to our whole community and we are delighted to be able to come together and support this unique cause in the manner we have.

“It is our understanding that once 50 per cent of the funding target has been met, applications can be made to other funding bodies outside Shetland and that has to be the goal.”

Lorraine Hall of Shetland Health Board described the donation as “overwhelmingly generous” which she accepted “with gratitude”.

“This donation has set the MRI Scanner Appeal on track to reach its target of £1.650 million. Thank you to all the families involved,” she added.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body.

An MRI scan can be used to examine almost any part of the body. The results of a scan can be used to help diagnose conditions such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, dementia and MS, and allow treatments to be planned. Follow up scans can allow medics to assess how effective treatments have been.

At present all local patients requiring such scans must travel to Aberdeen to have them carried out.