Camilla visits Suffolk hospital

CAMILLA Parker Bowles visited Ipswich Hospital to open a state-of-the-art scanner for diagnosing bone disease osteoporosis.Mrs Parker Bowles, president of the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS), was shown around the hospital's rheumatology department on a private visit yesterdayand chatted with staff and patients.

CAMILLA Parker Bowles visited Ipswich Hospital to open a state-of-the-art scanner for diagnosing bone disease osteoporosis.

Mrs Parker Bowles, president of the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS), was shown around the hospital's rheumatology department on a private visit yesterdayand chatted with staff and patients.

She also unveiled a plaque for the opening of the Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA). The plaque is inscribed in the memory of a former director of the society, Linda Edwards, who died at the end of last year.

Mrs Parker Bowles, who became the charity's president in 2001, was shown around the unit by Dr Gavin Clunie, consultant rheumatologist, and Jean Nunn, chairman of the NOS Ipswich and District Group.


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She was also introduced to Christine Smart, chairman of the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, and Paul Forden, chief executive.

Thousands of people across east Suffolk will soon be benefiting from the bone density scanner, which is now up and running at the hospital.

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The DXA is one of the most advanced of its kind in the world and is the fourth to be installed in any hospital in Britain.

Dr Clunie believes that the DXA Scanner is as vital to assessing the risk of osteoporosis as is measurement of blood pressure for people in determining risk of a stroke.

"Having this scanner is important as it means we can now provide a much more cost-effective service for the prevention and management of osteoporosis," he said.

"The scanner is essential in the initial evaluation of people at risk of osteoporosis. Low bone density measured by the DXA scanner is one of the most important risk factors for future fracture.

"It will play a very important part in helping doctors to identify people at risk of osteoporotic fractures."

The money to buy the DXA Scanner has come from a local healthcare charitable trust, the League of Friends of Ipswich and Aldeburgh Hospitals, voluntary groups and individuals. Much of the fund-raising work has been co-ordinated by the NOS Ipswich and District Group.

Osteoporosis affects one in three women, and one in 12 men over the age of 50 in the UK.

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