A NEW £80,000 Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) scanner has been installed at Kendal's Westmorland General Hospital.

The scanner can measure tiny reductions in bone density to help doctors identify conditions such as osteoporosis (weak bones) in the early stages.

More than 3,000 people every year have bone density scans with University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), which runs Westmorland General Hospital.

Dr Shahedal Bari, medical director, UHMBT, said: “It is really great that we have this new DEXA scanner. It is a really important tool for helping us to diagnose serious conditions such as osteoporosis.

"It will benefit thousands of people across Morecambe Bay each year. We also have an ageing population in this area, so in future, there will be an increasing need for this type of scan here.”

The scanner has been funded by a donation from the former League of Friends of Westmorland General Hospital and the Bay Hospitals Charity.

Health professionals, and anyone interested in the DEXA scanner, are invited to find out more at the hospital's radiology department on Tuesday December 17 when Marwan Bukhari, a consultant in the radiology department, will give a brief talk about the scanner. For free tickets, go to eventbrite.co.uk.

Ian Johnson, the chair of UHMBT, said: “The charity was delighted to fund the DEXA scanner at a cost of nearly £80,000. Funding has been made up by using four legacies, one of which was from the former League of Friends of Westmorland General Hospital.

"We feel this is such a fitting tribute to those who made a bequest in order to make a difference for future generations who will use this state-of-the-art piece of equipment. We are so grateful for their lasting gift.”

The new DEXA scanner will replace the trust’s 15-year-old scanner at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.