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Dire Straits bassist John Illsley unveils new state-of-the-art MRI scanner at Lymington New Forest Hospital




DIRE Straits bassist John Illsley sang the praises of Lymington New Forest Hospital as he unveiled its new state-of-the-art £906,000 MRI scanner.

Staff cheered and clapped as he cut the ribbon to showcase the Siemens Magnetom Altea 1.5T scanner, purchased by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

It will give the Ampress hospital’s radiology team higher quality images to ensure they identify health issues quickly and effectively and also has a wider bore – the chamber into which patients go – to make it a more pleasant experience for users.

John Illsley (centre) with Lymington hospital staff (photos: Steve West)
John Illsley (centre) with Lymington hospital staff (photos: Steve West)

“I’ve been living here for 32 years and it’s a privilege for us in Lymington to see this hospital go from strength to strength,” John said. “It’s a wonderful achievement to have such a remarkable piece of equipment at our local hospital.”

John revealed that just last year he was treated for pneumonia at Lymington. “I know full well how important it is we have a local place for local people with five-star facilities,” he added.

Patients will be able to wear headphones while in the scanner rather than listening to music through speakers in the room. Hospital staff said Dire Straits are among the most requested bands.

John Illsley said he was treated for pneumonia at Lymington hospital last year.
John Illsley said he was treated for pneumonia at Lymington hospital last year.

“I’m very flattered and it’s good to know that our songs work on so many levels; they hopefully give patients another place to escape to when they are having treatment,” John remarked.

“It’s lovely for our music to be used in a hospital setting as well; I find that as important as anything else we’ve ever done.”

Dr Rachel Anderson, medical director for South West Hampshire, added: “A good patient experience is the key to ensuring good patient care.

“The new scanner means that patients are less claustrophobic, can be seen more quickly and can have their vital investigation close to home.”

A new Siemens Magnetom Altea 1.5T scanner has been bought by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
A new Siemens Magnetom Altea 1.5T scanner has been bought by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

The scanner replaces the original MRI – which was purchased by the Lymington Hospital Friends group in 2011. It has also donated funds to help buy new CT and ultrasound scanners.

Arthur England, trustee and joint chair of Lymington Hospital Friends, said: “We are delighted to now see the new MRI scanner, provided by Southern Health, complete the fantastic range of imaging equipment in the radiology department to deliver a great service to patients.

“There are several new projects we have been able to support this year for cardiology, physio and stroke patients and we thank all our donors for enabling us to continue to raise funds for Lymington hospital patients.”

For more information about how to support the hospital, go to www.lymingtonhospitalfriends.org



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