New cancer scanning equipment for the Royal Free

Conservative candidate for Chipping Barnet, Theresa Villiers, visited The Royal Free Hospital on Friday to meet staff and talk about the Government’s pledge to deliver improved diagnostic equipment for the NHS, including new MRI, CT and mammography scanners.

The Royal Free Foundation Trust (which manages Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals as well as the Royal Free) is one of 78 across England in line for an upgrade to its equipment as part of a £200 million cash injection from the Conservatives.

Theresa met Caroline Clarke, the group chief executive, and Dominic Dodd, the chair of the Royal Free Trust, to discuss a range of matters relevant to improving local NHS services.

She toured the emergency department, with Dr Kerrie Whitwell, the clinical lead, and matron, Claudette Caiden. She also visited an older people’s ward.

“This hospital is regularly used by my constituents and it was great to be able to meet staff and talk to hear about the work being done to prepare for winter,” said Theresa. “It was also good to hear that staff are pleased the new equipment is coming. The NHS needs the very best technology available.

“Importantly these more efficient, easier-to-use new scanners will improve the early diagnosis of cancer – something I have campaigned for because the earlier diagnosis is fundamental to improving survival rates.

“I also continue to support Cancer Research UK’s campaign to ensure we have enough specialist cancer staff, such radiographers and radiologists, nurses and surgeons, so the NHS can deliver the best treatment for everyone who needs it. The £33 billion cash increase in NHS funding the Conservatives have promised should help deliver that increase in specialist staff.”

During her visit, Theresa also met with interim chief executive of Barnet Hospital, Debbie Sanders, to discuss A&E at Barnet Hospital.