Work has finally started on transforming a former laundry building into a £850,000 MRI suite at Louth County Hospital following a long-running community fundraising appeal.
Fundraisers and United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) are pleased to announce that after years of working together, the building works needed to make the new scanner a reality for the town and surrounding areas have finally begun.
The suite will include a £465,000 MRI scanner, clinical rooms and waiting areas for both outpatients and inpatients.
The chairman of the Louth Scanner Appeal, Trevor Marris, started the appeal back in 2004 while serving as the Mayor of Louth.
He said: “Earlier this year we heard the fantastic news that the appeal had been a success.
“Thanks to the generosity of the people of Louth and the surrounding area we were able to present the trust with a cheque for £507,608 and our dream became a reality.
“It’s taken us many years to get where we are and I cannot wait to see work get underway to transform this building.”
It is expected that 8,000 patients a year from Louth and the surrounding rural areas will use the scanner at the hospital, rather than having to travel further afield.
The MRI suite will be located at the front of the hospital grounds and the scanner will provide much more detailed and faster scans than were previously available. It will also help to improve cancer treatment as patients can be scanned earlier, leading to a quicker diagnosis and being able to start treatment sooner.
The facility will be funded by the generous public donations, plus an additional £350,000 invested by ULHT for the refurbishment of the building and additional equipment.
Chris Bilton, ULHT’s MRI service lead, said: “Seeing the hoardings go up ready for work to begin has been fantastic. This is a huge step forward for the hospital, and we couldn’t have done it without the appeal and the support it has received from local people.”
Chair of ULHT, Elaine Baylis, added: “What a wonderful initiative for the hospital. I am very grateful to everyone who has contributed so generously to the appeal.
“This investment at the hospital will greatly improve the experience for the 8,000 patients we expect to use the scanner and I look forward to seeing what was an unused building on this site brought back to life.”