Thousands of cancer patients across the West of Scotland are set to benefit from a new £3.6 million MRI scanner, unveiled today at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow.
The new MRI suite, which started scanning patients last month, was unveiled by Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Humza Yousaf MSP on Thursday 26 May, following a successful fundraising campaign from Beatson Cancer Charity and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Major donors were also invited to the event to see the MRI scanner.
NHSGGC pledged a grant of £1.7m from the Board’s Endowment Fund towards the project, which represented 50% of the anticipated original costs. Fundraising by Beatson Cancer Charity for the remaining balance began in May 2019 and sufficient funds were raised from individuals and charitable trusts by October 2019 to begin the procurement process.
The delivery of the project was unfortunately delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in an increase in building costs and additional accessories were identified that could extend the capabilities of the scanner. Our charity then launched a public appeal which raised a further £200,000 from 2,000 individual donors. Our charity was therefore able to hand over an incredible £1.9 million for the initiative.
One of the first donors to the appeal was patient, David Bartlett who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in April 2018 and treated at The Beatson.
David was one of only a few people in Scotland to benefit from the technique when doctors were able to use a diagnostic MRI scanner for radiotherapy planning.
David said: “It saved me – I'm still here four years since my diagnosis. The professionalism of everybody is amazing.
“The diagnosis wasn’t very good, but the treatment was amazing. Everybody was so friendly.”
Martin Cawley, Chief Executive of Beatson Cancer Charity, said: “I am delighted to see the official opening of the MRI scanner in the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre.
“We are in awe of the generosity of our donors who shared the Beatson’s vision for precision radiotherapy and supported the appeal giving £3.6 million."
Martin added: “This means patients can receive personalised, precision radiotherapy that will be more effective and cause fewer side effects. We estimate that over the next 10 years, around 20,000 people will benefit from the technique.
“We are delighted to hand over the new MRI facility to the NHS so they can do what they do best – giving people the chance to live well with and beyond cancer.”
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “This capability will augment NHS Scotland as a leader in modern radiotherapy. It will provide a platform for clinicians to develop and incubate innovative approaches and will also be used to support crucial research activity, with 20% of the MRI’s capacity being dedicated to research and development.”
Jane Grant, Chief Executive of NHSGGC added: “This incredibly important development would not have been possible without many substantial donations. The commitment of Beatson Cancer Charity and generosity of the donors has been overwhelming. On behalf of NHSGGC, I would like to express our utmost thanks for this incredible support.
“Undoubtedly this new facility provides an exciting opportunity to further develop clinical services at the Beatson and will provide significant treatment benefits and better patient outcomes for our population in the years to come.”
We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who donated to our MRI Appeal 💛