Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal to receive £½ million grant

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Published: 13 August 2020

Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal to receive £½ million grant

Shetland Charitable Trust has approved a one-off payment of £500,000 to Shetland Health Board Endowment Fund for its MRI Scanner Appeal.

The grant towards buying and installing the scanner in Lerwick will help the appeal reach its fundraising target of £1.65m.

The payment was agreed unanimously by trustees at a special meeting held today to consider a report recommending approval of the funding application, which was considered initially by the trust’s General Purposes Advisory Committee on 10th July.

The scanner appeal was launched in July 2018 with the aim of buying, installing and running a prefabricated MRI unit on the site of the Gilbert Bain Hospital, saving patients having to travel to Aberdeen for the service.

MRI scanners can look at almost any part of the body and create pictures which help show up differences between healthy and unhealthy tissue.

It is hoped that the scanner will enhance the lives of people in Shetland by:

  • Reducing unnecessary patient travel, inconvenience and stress;
  • Making MRI diagnostic tests more readily available to islanders;
  • Improving patients’ health and reducing health inequalities;
  • Using the savings from reduced patient transport to provide the scanner service.

Announcing the grant approval, trust chairman Dr Andrew Cooper said: “The community in Shetland has shown clearly its support for this good cause so its very pleasing that the trust is able to provide a helping hand.

“The charitable trust exists to enhance the quality of life in Shetland and, clearly, looking after our health is fundamental to a good life. We hope that being able to diagnose treatable illness quickly and without patients having to leave the islands will be a real improvement here.”

As a charity, the trust is not allowed to contribute funds towards running costs but it can make a donation to the scanner appeal to help buy and install the equipment. NHS Shetland will cover the full costs of staffing and running the MRI service after the end of its first year.

The £500,000 grant will increase the trust’s maximum expenditure for 2020/21 to £10.5m.



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