THE UK’s first ever static PET/CT scanner has officially been opened at Poole Hospital.

The £2.5m state-of-the-art scanner helps identify changes in the size and location of cancers.

It provides hybrid diagnostic imaging, combining PET and CT imaging, as well as PET or CT scans individually. The images produced indicate to clinicians the effectiveness of the body’s response to cancer treatment.

The scanner uses lower doses of radiation making it safer for patients, and provides the most detailed imaging ever. It replaces a mobile unit, which visited the hospital three times a week.

The new scanning unit was officially opened yesterday by actor Guy Henry, although it has been in operation since April.

Guy, who is a patron of the cancer treatment trust, has starred in films including Star Wars and Harry Potter as well as the Holby City TV series.

Another special guest was Poole Hospital Cancer Treatment Trust committee member Tony Pawley.

Mr Pawley, 73,begun radiotherapy earlier this week after the PET/CT scanner identified something in one of his lymph nodes. He had already received treatment for prostate cancer in 2015.

But Mr Pawley, who lives in Broadstone, also helped raise the £500,000 donated by the Cancer Treatment Trust to help pay for the scanner.

Speaking to the Echo he said: “It’s great to know that the scanner I helped raise money for is already helping to save lives, this time my own. Not only is it a brilliant piece of equipment but the images it creates are so detailed.”

Dr Angus Wood, a consultant radiologist at Poole Hospital and deputy medical director said: “It’s a tremendous privilege to have the UK’s most advanced PET/CT scanner here at Poole Hospital.

“This state-of-the-art facility represents a real step change in our ability to monitor cancers and plan with even greater accuracy each patient’s treatment.”

Alliance Medical, Europe’s leading independent provider of imaging services, has been awarded a contract by NHS England to provide PET/CT services at over 30 hospitals in England.