Our current projects
We believe everyone should have access to the best medical imaging. We invest in equipment, research and education to make this happen. Read about our successes and current projects here.
Dementia Futures Fund
One of our charitable objectives is to improve the diagnosis and treatment of dementia. In 2016 we formed a partnership with the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust to develop the dementia diagnostic pathway using state-of-the-art imaging equipment and are also working to increase patient participation in research trials into new treatments.
Dementia currently affects 850,000 people in the UK and it is only through research that we can determine the causes and develop effective treatments and improve care for patients, both existing and in the future.
We are raising funds to support two dementia research nurses who work with doctors and patients to recruit patients onto national trials at the Fritchie Centre. Cobalt also support many of these trials with the state-of-the-art imaging equipment for patients.
- Read more
Clinical research involves many different departments external agencies and people. The role of the research nurse is to mediate between these points of contact, all whilst encouraging and reassuring patients participating in the study. The care that this role offers means that patients have a familiar face guiding them through the process and that all necessary appointments are attended and data is accurate and collected at the right times.
How you can help:
The work Cobalt does in the field of dementia, from offering PET/CT scans to funding research nurse posts and necessary equipment costs the charity £150,000 every year. Every donation counts towards this vital area of work.
I am excited to be working with Cobalt Health on dementia research as every research project that we undertake, is a step to bring us closer to preventing, treating and caring for people with dementia.
I really love all aspects of my job but the best part is meeting and talking to the patients.
Liz Walker, Senior Research Nurse Practitioner.
A growing number of dementia patients participating in trials will contribute to improved standards of care for dementia and Alzheimer's disease at a local level, whilst also contributing to the wider health research environment nationally and internationally, by yielding results that lead to better diagnosis and treatment for all in the future.
Please help to continue to support this valuable service for local dementia patients and future generations through the valuable research output.
Teenage and Young Adults with Cancer (TYA) Specialist Nurse post
The impact of a cancer diagnosis on children and families can be immense. Young cancer patients have unique biological, physiological and social needs during treatment which are distinct from other cancer patients. For teenagers and young adults, traditionally little care has put into place that delivers according to their specific needs, with patients often either treated alongside children of a younger age, or with adults.
The Cobalt TYA Cancer Nurse ensures that an appropriate framework, meeting the needs of young adult cancer patients, is established at a time when they are most vulnerable. Megan Willsher was appointed as the Cobalt TYA Cancer Nurse in June 2011 and is based at Cheltenham General Hospital, linking with colleagues in Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Bristol and Birmingham; she is one of only five TYA Cancer Specialist Nurses in the South West.
‘My role ensures these patients are supported throughout their cancer journey and beyond, helping them to move forward with their life, as they would have without the intrusion of cancer.’ Megan Willsher, Cobalt Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Nurse
‘I am grateful to Megan and to Cobalt for funding the job she does. She has been such a great support.’ Samantha (Patient)
How you can help:
The cost of providing this service is £28,000 per year. Please help to continue to support this valuable service for young cancer patients.
What we've achieved
Read about some of our success stories here.
- 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.’
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.