The cost of running the CT scanner in Shetland is to be met for the next 20 months by surplus funds from the charity behind its acquisition, it has emerged.
Lower running costs than anticipated and interest from invested funds mean Shetland Health Board will not have to pay to operate it until March 2011.
The scanner, which has been used for 1,103 scans since it was installed at the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick nearly two years ago, was bought after £1 million was raised in the community, including £600,000 from Shetland Charitable Trust.
It allows faster clinical diagnosis and thus quicker treatment of potentially life-threatening conditions and has cut down on travel to the mainland for patients requiring non-urgent scans.
The Community Action for Trauma Support (CATS) charity will be wound up at the end of March, but a surplus of £150,000 will given to the health board and ring-fenced for operational costs.
Health board chairwoman Betty Fullerton said she was delighted that the “tremendous fund-raising efforts of Shetland folk” would now suport the scanner for a year longer than originally anticipated.
CATS chairman Peter Malcolmson said: “It has been a pleasure working with Shetland Charitable Trust and the health board through to the culmination of the CATS initiative, and I would like to thank everyone who has been involved for making it all possible.”
Trust chairman Bill Manson said: “Following a huge community fund-raising effort, the trust was delighted to contribute. It is heartening to hear that the expected improvements in treatment are already apparent.”