What we have achieved

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

New 3D mammography equipment

One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. Survival for breast cancer is related to the stage of the disease at diagnosis. When diagnosed at its earliest stage,  most women with breast cancer will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with 3 in 20 women when the disease is diagnosed at a later stage.  New 3D scanning technology is now available which can enable a more accurate diagnosis of breast cancer at an earlier stage. Cobalt want to provide patients with the best possible chance of early diagnosis, using technology like this to enable more effective treatment and ultimately save lives.

We have raised funds for a 3 dimensional mammography machine, a special breast biopsy device and equipment to undertake mammography with a special dye (contrast medium) which will help to greatly improve patient care. Under the direction of Professor Iain Lyburn we will use this equipment to continue to contribute to cutting edge national research.

Thirlestaine Breast Centre Signage

New 3.0 Tesla MRI Scanner

Thanks to huge community fundraising and the support of Trusts, Foundations and corporate partners, a new 3.0 Tesla scanner has now been successfully installed.

The new scanner has all the latest software and scanning sequences to ensure we continue to offer the very best high-definition specialist neurology and musculoskeletal images for all our clinical and research patients, both now and well into the future.

The scanner has been designed with a much wider bore, which makes it a more comfortable experience for claustrophobic and larger patients and the scanning times are generally shorter.

The patient’s experience has been improved through the provision of ambient lighting in the scanning room and  a relaxing new ‘in bore’ patient experience system.  The ambient lighting and computer system aims to reduce anxiety and enables patients to control a relaxing environment of their choice whilst having their scan. Three innovative elements, the visual experience, comforting guidance, and reduced noise have been combined.

Over £200,000 in donations were raised for the new MRI scanner. This includes donations from the following Charitable Trusts: The Charles Irving Trust, The Pink Ribbon Foundation, Blakemore Foundation, RV J Cadbury Trust, The Dent-Brocklehurst Family Trust, Princess Anne’s Charities Trust Albert Hunt Trust, the Honourable Company of Gloucestershire, Philip Smith’s Charitable Trust, Renishaw Charities Committee, RJ Shaw Trust, Cainscross Parish council and The Hobson Charity. We are also very grateful to the Nationwide Building Society who helped raise £10,000 towards the MRI Scanner Appeal.

Funding for MRI Research Facility - ITM Imaging Centre

Cobalt has established a vital MRI research facility that was needed for a leading research centre, The Institute of Translational Medicine (ITM) at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham (QEHB). The ITM is a strategic alliance between the University of Birmingham and three major teaching hospitals; the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Birmingham Women’s Hospital.

MRI scanners at the hospitals were being used purely for clinical need and due to high demand, vital research was not being undertaken. The project was made possible through fundraising activities, your donations and the generous support of Trusts and Foundations and represents a real partnership between the Hospital, University and charity Cobalt that will progress the very latest scientific research findings for a collaborative network of clinicians, academics and industry partners.

The Centre was officially opened in April 2017 by Dr Nicola Strickland, President of the Royal College of Radiologists and Clive Richards OBE. In attendance were The Right Worshipful, The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Carl Rice, Dame Julie Moore Chief Executive University Hospital Birmingham, Rt Hon Jacqui Smith Chair of UHB, Cobalt CEO Peter Sharpe and Cobalt Medical Director, Professor Iain Lyburn.

The event was supported by a series of talks from various partners including a guest speaker from the USA, Dr, John Wald MD, Associate Professor of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA.

Peter Sharpe, Cobalt’s CEO said at the opening  ‘This is an exciting new chapter for Cobalt and important day for research. This development will ultimately provide access to a wide range of more effective, targeted treatments and a personalised approach to healthcare. This has been a great example of where the NHS, a charity and a university can work closely together for the benefit of the patient. We are incredibly grateful to the Trusts, Foundations and other supporters that have invested in this project.’


Lung Screening

Cobalt has purchased a Siemens Somaton go.Up CT scanner, this is the first time this CT scanner has been installed in a mobile unit in the world.  The scanner has been designed around lung cancer screening, providing ultra-low dose radiation and a comfortable experience for the patient.  The purchase of this new CT scanner would however not have been possible without the very generous support of the Clive and Sylvia Richards Charity.  The charity donated £235,000 to support the purchase of the scanner which will without a doubt save many lives.  Clive and Sylvia Richards have been supporters of Cobalt Appeals over the last few years and we are indebted to their generous support.

Many thanks to all of our donors

We are grateful to The Clive and Sylvia Richards Charity for being our principal investors and for supporting this project.

In addition we were able to secure funding from:

The Eranda Foundation

The Bernard Piggott Charitable Trust

The Rowlands Trust

The P F Charitable Trust

The Eveson Trust

The Gordon Gray Trust

Spirax Sarco Charitable Trust

The Saintbury Trust

We are also grateful to our anonymous donors.


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