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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 13 June 2016

Mary Berry opens new PET-CT cancer scanner at Bath RUH

TV presenter Mary Berry was a star attraction for patients, staff and visitors at the Royal United Hospital (Monday June 13) when she officially opened a new £1.2m Positron PET-CT cancer scanner.

The Great British Bake Off host unveiled a plaque and praised the charity, the Bath Cancer Unit Supporters Group, which raised the cash to buy it.

She said: "This is a very exciting moment for the RUH and its patients. It represents so much work by your members and the very many people who donated so generously."

The new state-of-the-art scanner, which can be used in the detection and diagnosis of cancer and dementia, is due to take its first patient at the RUH this week.

Consultant Radiologist Richard Graham said: "It means patients needing such a scan will no longer have to travel to Cheltenham, a long journey at a difficult and stressful time.

"It really is an amazing piece of equipment that allows us to give an even more accurate diagnosis of cancer and improved monitoring of patients' ongoing treatment."

Among the guests who met Mary Berry was Esther Simpson, who is walking proof of the scanner's life-saving potential. A PET-CT scan eight years ago pin-pointed her primary cancer and allowed her to be successfully treated.

She said: "I was thrilled to learn that the BCUSG had launched an appeal to raise the £1.2 million pounds needed to buy our very own PET-CT scanner for use at the RUH. The BCUSG have done so much for our Oncology unit over the past 31 years. We are so lucky to have such wonderful support."

The charity has raised almost all the £1.3m required to purchase and equip the scanner. The RUH is investing a further £1.4m to cover the costs of installation. The RUH is the first hospital in the South West to have such a purpose-built fixed scanner.

Note to editors:
  • A PET-CT scanner works by combining two scanning techniques – Positron Emission Tomography and Computerised Tomography – to provide strikingly detailed and precise images of cancer cells in the body. It gives clinicians a much clearer picture of the spread of a cancer, how it is responding to treatment, and whether any cancerous cells remain following a course of treatment.
  • The RUH was identified as one of six new sites for PET-CT scanning in 2015 as part of a commitment by NHS England to increase patient access to the vital service.
  • Provision of the new scanner is part of the Trust's wider strategy for transforming Cancer Care. Plans are already underway for a new cancer centre at the RUH. The £28m Dyson Cancer Centre will be built using a similar approach to that employed in the creation of the hospital's award-winning Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care – offering cancer patients a truly holistic approach to their treatment.

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