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Sarah Ayton

Former Olympic medallist and World Champion sailor, Sarah Ayton OBE joined Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals and Alliance Medical staff to officially open a new state-of-the-art MRI scanner at a special launch event in November.

Sarah, a gold medal winner at the 2007 and 2008 Yngling Sailing World Championships as well as a gold medallist at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, has a close local connection as she was born at Ashford Hospital 35 years ago and began sailing at the Queen Mary Sailing Club in Staines when she was just six.

Sarah visited Ashford Hospital to cut the ribbon on the advanced GE Signa Explorer MRI scanner, part of a £1.4 million investment to improve MRI services for patients. The new scanner incorporates the latest technology, enabling super high resolution images of blood vessels, soft tissue, organs and bones, which helps clinicians to make faster and more accurate diagnoses.

The new scanner also improves patient comfort through a feature called ‘Silent Suite’, which significantly reduces the noise generated and is silent for brain and head scans. The size and design of the scanner also means the sense of claustrophobia experienced by some patients is reduced.