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Caithness roots of science pioneer honoured at CT scanner opening

Issued: 27 Aug 2008

The rooms housing the new CT scanner at Caithness General Hospital have been named The Allan Cormack CT Suite at an official opening.

Lord-Lieutenant of Caithness Anne Dunnett led the event at the hospital on Monday night with a speech in which she paid tribute to the late Professor Cormack's contribution to the development of CT for which he was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1979. Professor Cormack was born in South Africa to parents who had emigrated from Caithness. He died in 1998.

The Lord-Lieutenant said: "I'd like to pay tribute to the staff at Caithness General Hospital for their work to get the scanner here. It is excellent that patients will no longer have to make the 200 miles journey to Inverness and back when they are unwell. It is a double pleasure for me to be dedicating the CT suite to Allan Cormack whose work has led to the development of CT technology."

Allan Cormack's daughter Jean Cormack travelled from Connecticut to be at the official opening. She said: "It was very exciting to hear that the CT Suite was to be named in honour of my father, the whole family was thrilled. He would have been thrilled too. Winning the Nobel Prize in 1979 was nice for him because he was finally recognised and was able to travel a lot more than he had but in some ways this kind of thing would have meant more to him."

Local paramedic Victor Bain made a reply on behalf of patients. Mr Bain had a stroke five years ago and was taken to Raigmore Hospital for his CT scan. He said: "The journey to Raigmore left me profoundly tired and feeling sick. Having the CT in Wick will speed up care for patients and help their families. In many ways it's not just one person who has a stroke, the whole family has a stroke and everyone makes sacrifices as the patient recovers."

The CT scanner is used in the diagnosis and treatment planning of many conditions including stroke, brain injuries and cancer. Approximately 600 patients will have a scan at Caithness General Hospital each year.

North Highland Community Health Partnership General Manager Sheena Craig said: "I'm delighted that we have been able to bring the CT scanner to Wick and that it is already speeding up care for patients and saving them an unnecessary trip to Inverness. NHS Highland is committed to developing the role of its Rural General Hospitals and this is an example of that commitment."

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme