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Renowned radio and television presenter Valerie Singleton OBE says she’s absolutely amazed at the transformation of the radiology department at Sherborne’s Yeatman Hospital.
The 81-year old, who hosted popular children’s TV series Blue Peter and various financial shows on BBC Radio 4, was the guest of honour at a special grand opening of the new look facility.
Dorset HealthCare has invested £350,000 in room conversions and new state-of-the-art equipment to breathe new life into the department, which provides x-ray and ultrasound examinations.
Valerie, who has lived just outside Sherborne since 2003 said: “The work carried out on this facility is remarkable – I’m blown away by it.
“I have been a patient at the Yeatman on numerous occasions and the area is unrecognisable. It’s also great to see such an important service given a much-needed facelift, and it provides a much more fresh and modern environment for patients.”
The Radiology Department, which sees between 150 and 200 patients each week, was seen as the most outdated part of the hospital and in desperate need of bringing into the 21st century.
Matron Anne Hiscock said: “The department was very old fashioned, and I’m not sure it instilled much confidence in our patients when they walked in.
“We had mixed-sex changing rooms on the opposite side of the x-ray room, which meant they’d have to sit and wait in the corridor dressed in their gowns before being seen, and this simply wasn’t good enough.
“We now have a single sex facility housed within the x-ray room, where patients can undress and walk straight in once they are called, meaning only the radiologist sees them. This gives them the privacy and dignity they deserve.”
A brand new, larger ultrasound room has been created by removing the old changing rooms and knocking down the wall that separated the two.
The original facility was too small and didn’t have a sink, which meant staff were restricted with the treatment they could offer.
It now boasts modern lighting and decor, easy-clean storage facilities, a new state-of-the-art air conditioning system and a brand new, hi-spec ultrasound machine.
The Trust has also invested in one of the most technologically advanced x-ray machines of its generation, which will provide more accurate diagnoses for patients.
Radiology Manager Suzanne Holloway said: “We involved our staff at every stage of the planning, and they were instrumental in getting us to where we are now. We are all delighted to be providing a much more positive environment for our patients, and staff feel less restricted in their work and much more valued.”
The Friends of the Yeatman Hospital have also purchased new seating for the waiting area and a new electronic examination couch.
Matron Anne added: “I’m truly over the moon. I’m part of the local community here in Sherborne as are my friends and family, and I want the finest for everyone. This is a shining example of us pulling out all the stops to continue providing the very highest standard of care we can.”