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Southend babies benefit from new £47K ‘super’ scanner

26 August 2016


A new high-tech scanner at Southend Hospital’s Special Care baby Unit (SCBU) is now in use thanks to the year-long dedicated fundraising exploits of the Olympus KeyMed Charity Committee members.

Olympus KeyMed, Charity Committee Chair, Ben Aldridge, and several members of the committee visited the hospital to see the impressive kit on the unit.

Ben said: "We originally set a target of £30,000 to help with the cost of buying a new scanner for the unit, which even we were unsure we could meet.  That scanner cost £47,000, so we were just astounded when we smashed both those totals with over £55,000. It's been hugely inspiring and we all feel amazingly proud."

The super scanner cost £47,000, although the Charity Committee surpassed that total with a fantastic total of £55,792.56.

Ben added: "With two members of the committee having used the Special Care Baby Unit, it was something close to all our hearts and we therefore decided to support them with our fundraising efforts.

The state-of-the-art scanner now means the department can offer an even higher level of care for its newly born patients.

Consultant paediatrician, Dr Khan, said: "We truly cannot thank the charity committee and the staff at Olympus KeyMed enough - their hard work and dedication to fundraising for this scanner has really been amazing.

"This equipment will make a huge difference to the unit and our patients. It is portable, and allows us to scan babies in their incubators, which is much safer. It also provides far superior images to what we were previously using - allowing faster and more accurate treatment.

"We would be able to do heart scans live over telemedicine link with specialist hospital like The Royal Brompton Hospital, so they can help provide assessments remotely, minimizing unnecessary journeys into London for sick babies."

Over the last year the Olympus KeyMed team organised car washes, charity waxing events, and fundraising evenings asking colleagues to dig deep - and their efforts certainly have paid off. Standing on SCBU, Ben reflected on the huge life-changing fundraising that he and his team had accomplished that began in March 2015.

He added "We can see what a difference this equipment will make to babies born too small, too soon or too sick. I am proud of all my committee members and the huge efforts made by us all and Olympus staff, family and friends, raising this amazing sum of money."

The remaining money will also be spent on the unit to help benefit the lives of new born babies at Southend Hospital.