Friends fund new £160,000 X-Ray Machine

A new X-ray facility was officially opened today (Wednesday 13th) at Crowborough Hospital.

Peter Horn, Chair of the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust and Chantal Wilson, Chair of the Friends of Crowborough Hospital (Photo FoCH Russell Wakefield)

To ensure that Crowborough residents have access to the best quality x-ray images as quickly as possible, the Friends of Crowborough Hospital agreed to purchase the new equipment at a cost of over £160,000 with the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust paying for enabling works, installation and day-to-day running costs.

The previous equipment was out-of-date, the images poor by modern standards, with maintenance and repair becoming increasingly difficult.  With the new X-ray machine, it is possible for the digital images to be seen immediately in Crowborough Hospital and reviewed by a consultant radiologist at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead.  Images are of exceptional clarity and can be enhanced for more accurate diagnosis.   A consultant’s report can be with the GP the same day speeding-up diagnosis.

Peter Horn, the Chair of the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, thanked the Friends, not only for raising a significant amount of money, but also for acting as a bridge between the community and the NHS:

I think Crowborough is lucky that it has a well organised and committed league of friends.

The Trust thinks what the Friends have done has is a fantastic contribution which supports our staff, but also improves the quality of services to patients and helps also brings the community and the NHS closer together.

Demonstration of the new digital x-ray machine

The dignitaries at the opening ceremony included the Vice Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, who is the Patron of the Friends of Crowborough Hospital, and the Mayor of Crowborough.  Along with representatives of the NHS Trust and the Clinical Commissioning Group they were given a demonstration of how the the X-ray tube is moved and adjusted by remote control to accommodate lying and standing patient positions.  Staff explained that as well improved image quality, patients receive lower radiation dosage in comparison with the previous equipment.

Left to Right: Richard Hallett MBE, Vice-President of the Friends of Crowborough Hospital (FoCH), Mrs Sara Stonor DL, Vice-Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex and Patron of FoCH, Mrs Chantal Wilson DL, Chair of the Trustee Committee, FoCH, Peter Horn, Chair of the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, and Cllr Greg Rose, Mayor of Crowborough (Photo FoCH Russell Wakefield).

The Friends of Crowborough were able to fund the purchase from a combination of legacies, donations and fundraising.  When the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust took over the community services contract in 2015, they asked the Friends to consider to what extent they could help to deliver improved diagnostic facilities.  CrowboroughLife asked Chantal Wilson, the Chair of the Trustees, whether she felt comfortable with the Friends paying for the X-ray machine, when some people might consider that the NHS should have funded it:

If the Friend hadn’t paid, we wouldn’t have it.

So are you going to stand on your principles and say we are not paying for it, but anyone can go to Pembury or Eastbourne or somewhere like that.  Or are you saying we are here to help our community.  That is what our charity is here to do – it is here to support our hospital, in order to support our local community.

And what could be better than coming here, no wait, nice calm atmosphere, done straight away, immediately diagnosis.   Or would you go to one of those acute hospitals and spend the whole day waiting to be seen.

Which is the better option?

Crowborough Minor Injuries Unit

The Minor Injuries Unit at Crowborough Hospital on Southview Road is open 7 days a week, from 8am to 8pm (please note the last booking is at 7.45pm).  They provide assessment and treatment of a wide range of minor injuries in both adults and children.  It is nurse practitioner led, there is no doctor on site.  X-ray is available from 9am to 4.15pm Monday to Friday.  If you’re in any doubt whether a person’s condition is appropriate to be dealt with please ciontact the switchboard on 01892 652284.

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