PATIENTS being treated in Andover now have state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment on their doorstep thanks to a donation.

The charity Friends of Andover War Memorial Hospital has dedicated funds for a new musculoskeletal probe, which previously was only available at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital meaning patients had to travel between hospitals for investigations.

The new equipment allows in-depth examinations of small joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons throughout the body, helping to diagnose strains, sprains and tears as well as other soft tissue and joint conditions.

The equipment and also makes for more precise scans in children.

Terry Watkins, lead sonographer for Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which runs hospitals in Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester, said: “The probe will dramatically increase the scope of non-obstetric ultrasound work we can provide to the Andover community locally.

“Patients will no longer have to travel out of town to other hospitals as they can now get a specialised form of ultrasound scanning on their doorstep, improving their experience of care.”

The Friends of Andover War Memorial Hospital has raised more than £500,000 to provide additional equipment and services in Andover, as hospitals use charity funds more and more to secure its needs.

Mary Critcher, chairwoman of Friends of Andover War Memorial Hospital, said: “We are delighted and proud to support Andover War Memorial Hospital as they continue to provide outstanding care to their patients.”

“Over the years, the Friends have been able to fund numerous pieces of equipment and we know this new probe will make a positive difference for both patients and staff.”