PATIENTS in the region can get better access to world-leading diagnostic care for cancer and heart disease at a new scanning unit which it is hoped will become a major centre for ground-breaking research.
The purpose-built Jack Brignall PET-CT scanning centre, funded by the Hull-based Daisy Appeal at Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham, is the first in the UK to house a new generation scanner capable of providing faster and more accurate patient imaging than any previously available in the region.
It replaces a service previously provided from a mobile scanner on the Hull Royal Infirmary site.
Teenager Will Retallick is one of the first patients to undergo a scan at the new centre.
The 18-year-old York College A-level student from Newport, near Howden in East Yorkshire, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in April after falling ill six months previously. Scans showed cancer in his neck, chest and armpit. He hopes the new scans will show cells retreating after two months of chemotherapy.
He said: “Having a facility like this has to be good for the region. The new one was a lot quicker and there was a lot more room inside. It was a shock when I was first diagnosed. But it is just a chance thing; you can’t do anything about it so you have to get on with things.”
The Daisy Appeal raised a total of £4.5 million to deliver and equip the new centre.
Trustee Andrew Horncastle said PET-CT imaging was a fast-evolving technique that was extremely useful in assessing patients with conditions including cancer, cardiac and certain neurological diseases.
He said: “It is something we have all worked extremely hard to deliver and is something that we are confident will have a huge impact on so many people’s lives across the Humber region.”
The appeal is now looking to raise £2m to construct a new building housing a cyclotron which makes radioactive tracers used in the scanning of patients.
This will increase the number of illnesses diagnosed at the hospital, including neurological conditions such as dementia. The combination of the cyclotron and PET-CT scanner will put the region at the forefront of international PET-CT scanning techniques.