Scanner appeal gets Christmas boost with £5,000 Banks Group donation

December 20, 2017 | Community News

Pat Chambers (left) and Jenny Flynn (right) of the County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Charity with Mark Dowdall of The Banks Group

A fundraising appeal aiming to bring the latest state-of-the-art MRI scanning technology to two County Durham hospitals has received a four-figure Christmas boost from a regional employer.

The official charity of County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust launched the appeal in February to pay for new scanners to be installed at Darlington Memorial and Bishop Auckland Hospitals which will provide much improved images and a better experience for patients.

Since then, more than £120,000 has been raised by individuals, community groups and businesses from around the area – and now, County Durham-headquartered property and energy firm The Banks Group has added a further £5,000 to the total with a donation from the Banks Community Fund.

The two Phillips scanners will provide both more comfortable surroundings for patients to be in while they’re having their scan and better quality images on which clinicians can base their diagnoses.

Fundraising work will continue right through until December 2018 to help meet the full cost of each scanner, and appeal organisers are hoping to encourage more North East companies and individuals to get behind their campaign.

Jenny Flynn, chair of the County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Charity, says: “MRI scanners are increasingly being used for diagnostic work, and as well as these modern machines providing extremely detailed images, the fact that they don’t use any radiation, unlike X-rays and CT scanners, gives them an added patient benefit.

“The existing machines that these new scanners will soon replace were rented, rather than owned by the NHS, and because they were quite narrow and noisy, a number of patients found them too claustrophobic and we therefore weren’t able to carry out their scans.

“Every single one of us is touched by the NHS in some way, and there are so many different ways in which the health budget could be spent, but the reality is that there’s never enough funding to cover everything we’d like to provide.

“The Trust’s charity works to raise additional money that can be directed to specific projects and purchases that can make a big difference to the services that local people can access, and these scanners will have a very significant impact on the way in which patients across County Durham receive treatment.

“Most of the money that we’ve received this year has come from individuals and community groups undertaking sponsored activities or putting on fundraising events, and we’d love to see more regional businesses taking The Banks Group’s lead in supporting this vital campaign in whatever way they can.”

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Group, adds: “Anyone living anywhere around our home county could need this new equipment at any time, and it’s a real boost to the region’s healthcare provision to know that these scanners will soon be in place at the two sites.

“As a major County Durham employer, we’re very pleased to be supporting the scanner appeal, and would urge other businesses in the region to look at how they might also be able to get behind it.”

For more information on the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Charity’s appeal or to make a donation, call 01325 743786, email, visit, or follow @CDDFTCharity on Twitter

These scanners will have a very significant impact on the way in which patients across County Durham receive treatment.

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