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About us

Cobalt

About Us

We are Cobalt Health (Cobalt), a medical charity established in 1964 with the key goal to deliver improvements in clinical diagnosis and treatments and help people affected by cancer, dementia and other conditions.

Each year we provide diagnostic imaging for over 130,000 patients from our imaging centres in Cheltenham and Birmingham, as well as offering mobile MRI, CT and PET/CT scanners that support NHS hospitals and other medical facilities across the UK.

We are the leading providers of lung cancer screening services in the UK — using ultra-low-dose CT, we work in partnership with the NHS in many community locations to ensure all patients have the scans and treatment needed.

Cobalt CT scan
Scan computer staff

Our imaging centres house the latest technology designed to deliver superior image quality, improve patient comfort, and enable shorter scanning times. By working with leading experts in the field, we invest in cutting-edge technology with the aim of supporting and participating in local, national and international research.

We also work closely with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham to deliver specialist research imaging for the Institute of Translational Medicine. By delivering a diverse training and education programme for medical professionals, we aim to enhance their professional development.

Our Mission

To pioneer innovation in medical imaging diagnosis by investing in equipment, integrated research and education, to improve outcomes for patients now and in the future.

Diagnostic imaging services

A diagnostic scan is a type of test ordered by medical professionals to help them to diagnose patients’ conditions, check how effective certain treatments are and plan appropriate treatment. The different types of diagnostic scans we offer are MRI, PET/CT, CT, X-ray and Ultrasound.

Ultrasound

Rapid Access Clinic

Cobalt values

Mobile MRI, CT, and PET/CT services for hire

We provide mobile MRI, CT, and PET/CT services for hire. Our fleet of modern, low-dose CT scanners can be equipped with supporting units including reception, waiting and consultation areas. Our modern mobile 1.5 and 3.0 Tesla MRI scanners also provide mobile services to NHS Trusts throughout the UK.

MRI mobile scanner

Mobile MRI hire

CT mobile unit

Mobile CT hire

Mobile PETCT

Mobile PET/CT hire

Pricing

To make our scans accessible for patients who wish to self-pay, Cobalt offers low-cost, rapid-access appointments. For more information about our prices, head over to our pricing page.

About pricing
Medical charity Cobalt
Megan Willsher, Cobalt's teenagers and young adults cancer nurse

Cobalt medical charity

Cobalt undertakes fundraising to support the objectives of the Charity in particular to provide the latest technology, enabling patients to have the earliest and most accurate diagnosis. We invest in projects that improve the patient experience, including a specialist nursing post supporting teenagers and young adults with cancer.

Discover more about our fundraising efforts and how the money we raise is helping patients now and in the future.

We scan over 130,000 patients every year

We have raised £303,000 of our £303,000 target for our PET/CT fundraising campaign

99% of patients would recommend us

Our history

1960's
Cobalt’s story begins in 1964 when Dr Fred Hanna founded The Cobalt Unit Appeal Fund to raise money for a machine to treat cancer and a facility to house it. The Cobalt units were used to deliver therapy to eliminate cancer cells.
1980's
The Colbalt Cancer Prevention and Early Detection campaign for the Three Counties was launched.

Whole body x-ray scanner for diagnosing cancer and other diseases was provided to the Oncology Unit at Cheltenham general hospital.

The Gloucestershire Breast Screening Service was established with Cobalt providing both the accommodation. The first mobile screening unit was purchased.
1990's
Mobile MRI service was Launched with three units. The first 1.5 Tesla mobile MRI in Europe. £765,000 raised for Advanced Treatment Machine for the Cheltenham General Hospital Oncology Centre.
2000's
2009 – In support of a campaign to raise £5.1 million for an integrated breast service with state-of-the-art equipment.

2011 - £1m was raised for a high-definition CT scanner for Cheltenham General Hospital in order to improve scanning times and image quality.
2000's
2014 – Cobalts 50th anniversary! New mobile scanner and cutting-edge PET/CT scanner was purchased with raised funds to be used at Cobalt Imaging Centre.

2016 – The launch of the ITM imaging Centre – A virtual research service for the Institution of Translational Medicine at QE Hospital Birmingham

2019 – The launch of the first UK Lung Cancer Screening Service. Providing earlier diagnosis and better outcomes.

1960's

Cobalt’s story begins in 1964 when Dr Fred Hanna founded The Cobalt Unit Appeal Fund to raise money for a machine to treat cancer and a facility to house it.
The Cobalt units were used to deliver therapy to eliminate cancer cells.

Dr Fred Hanna OBE

1980's

The Cobalt Cancer Prevention and Early Detection campaign for the Three Counties was launched.

Whole body x-ray scanner for diagnosing cancer and other diseases was provided to the Oncology Unit at Cheltenham general hospital.

The Gloucestershire Breast Screening Service was established with Cobalt providing both the accommodation. The first mobile screening unit was purchased.

cobalt 1980s

1990's

Mobile MRI service was Launched with three units. The first 1.5 Tesla mobile MRI in Europe. £765,000 raised for Advanced Treatment Machine for the Cheltenham General Hospital Oncology Centre.

Rapid access clinic

2000's

2009 – In support of a campaign to raise £5.1 million for an integrated breast service with state-of-the-art equipment.
2011 – £1m was raised for a high-definition CT scanner for Cheltenham General Hospital in order to improve scanning times and image quality.
2014 – Cobalt’s 50th anniversary! A new mobile scanner and cutting-edge PET/CT scanner were purchased with raised funds for use at Cheltenham Imaging Centre.
2016 – The launch of the ITM Imaging Centre – A virtual research service for the Institution of Translational Medicine at QE Hospital Birmingham.
2019 – The launch of the first UK Lung Cancer Screening Service. Providing earlier diagnosis and better outcomes.

ITM Team

2020's

2020 – Targeted Lung Health Checks for Thurrock begin as Cobalt’s COVID-safe CT scanner is available to patients at risk of lung cancer.

2021 – The first imaging service in the UK to implement Innovision, an in-bore infotainment system that transforms the MRI patient experience.

Supporting the Lung Health Check programme by providing low-dose CT scans to communities such as Sutton, Hull, London, Kirklees

2022 – Once again accredited with the Quality Standard for Imaging (QSI).

PETCT timeline

2022

Cobalt is accredited with ISO 9001:2015 for its Quality Management System and ISO 14001:2015 for its Environmental Management System, both of which demonstrate its achievements and commitment to consistent improvement in these areas.

Supporting the local NHS by providing an imaging centre at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

Cobalt becomes the first mobile CT scanning provider in the UK to install the new Medrad Centargo, a CT scanning contrast media injector.

Invested £2.6m in a new Siemens Biograph Vision digital PET/CT and the expansion of its PET/CT department.

PETCT imaging centre

Quality account

Board of trustees

Annual report

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Senior management

Cobalt news