A NEW £1.5m charity-funded MRI scanner unit at Mount Vernon was officially opened on Monday night by Tim Farron MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Radiotherapy.

The scanner was paid for by the Paul Strickland charity and will bring a huge number of benefits to patients.

It promises more precise radiotherapy planning for cancer patients and an increase in the number of people who are able to have a scan per day.

The new scanner has a wider opening, making scans easier for large patients or those who have claustrophobia.

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The project enables Mount Vernon Cancer Centre and Paul Strickland Scanner Centre to work even more closely together.

Staff from both organisations will be able to learn from each other and find new and better ways of improving care and treatment for patients. The scanner is operated jointly by the two staffs.

Claire Strickland, chief executive of the Paul Strickland Scanner Centre, said: “Cutting-edge scanning equipment allows clinicians to determine the exact location, size and shape of the tumour in detail, allowing radiotherapy to be delivered with a degree of precision that wouldn’t have been possible only a few years ago.”