Doctor's bid to raise vital funds

A DOCTOR is today fundraising for a state-of-the-art ultrasound machine to help arthritis patients at Ipswich Hospital.Consultant Suzanne Lane, from the rheumatology department, wants the new machine to help detect the disease in its early stages - helping patients and bringing down waiting lists.

A DOCTOR is today fundraising for a state-of-the-art ultrasound machine to help arthritis patients at Ipswich Hospital.

Consultant Suzanne Lane, from the rheumatology department, wants the new machine to help detect the disease in its early stages - helping patients and bringing down waiting lists.

Dr Lane's project comes after she won two health awards for her work to detect rheumatoid arthritis and she is using her £1,500 prize money to kick-start the kitty.

She was first awarded a prize in the Health Enterprise East Innovation Awards - a national competition for health workers who help patients by progressing services.

An NHS Innovation award followed from the East of England Strategic Health Authority, which oversees health services in the region.

Both awards were for her work developing a service for inflammatory arthritis patients, where she uses ultrasound to recognise people who are going to get the disease in advance, as often once it is detected it has already deteriorated a lot.

Most Read

Thanks to patient fundraising, the department now has a £25,000 machine which helps around 35 per cent of its patients with its black and white images.

However, Dr Lane wants to improve the service even further and buy a more hi-tech machine, worth around £60,000, which measures blood flow.

Dr Lane, who has worked at Ipswich Hospital since 2004, said: “Ultrasound is safe and once you get the machine it's inexpensive. It allows me to see tiny erosions you can't see on x-rays and certainty of diagnosis is very important, there are lots of implications behind it.

“The process is used in bigger clinical centres and my aim was to reproduce that at Ipswich Hospital. We are a busy department here.

“Radiologists don't have time to do it, so we've got to get rheumatologists skilful enough, and also give them the time.

“I think it's best practise. In Germany and Italy it's compulsory that all rheumatologists learn and use it.

“I've been well supported by the hospital and my colleagues and because of it we are offering a better service. By getting the other machine we can offer an even better service.”

Are you an arthritis patient helped by Dr Lane's work with ultrasound? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter