AAA Screening Clinical Skills Trainer Sharon Bell, AAA Screening Technician Jodie Joyner; Organising Secretary of League of Friends RSH Sue Hurdiss; AAA Screening Technician Rhian Baker and AAA Screening Programme Coordinator Jessica Smith

A charity has presented the Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening Team at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust with funding for two portable ultrasound scanners which could help save men’s lives.

The League of Friends (LoF) of Royal Shrewsbury Hospital has provided £34,000 for the two scanners for the service, which is provided by The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust and National Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Team (NAAASP).

A simple ultrasound test is performed to detect AAAs, which are most common in men aged 65 and over. The new equipment has already been used for the initial scans of 1,223 men and nine of those have been found to have AAAs. It has also been used for follow-up scans on those men who continue to have the growth rate monitored.

The ultrasound test is quick, painless and non-invasive – and the results are provided straight away. It is part of a dedicated NHS programme to reduce the number of premature aneurysm-related deaths through early detection, monitoring and treatment.

Across Shropshire, screening is delivered by SaTH’s technicians in community settings such as GP practices, clinics and at both the RSH and Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford.

It is the second time the AAA Team has been able to buy two new portable ultrasound scanners thanks to the generosity of the LoF.

SaTH’s AAA Programme Coordinator Jessica Smith said: “We are so grateful for the support from the League of Friends, their valuable work encourages and inspires us in our roles and their generosity has enabled us, once again to offer a top-quality service.”

Vascular Specialist Nurse at SaTH Tracey Reece said: “The NAAASP service is a valuable screening programme which finds aneurysms that would probably go undetected. The men we see in clinic are extremely glad that they attended their appointments and are reassured that they are being looked after.”

Richard Steventon, Chair of RSH League of Friends, said: “The RSH LoF was delighted to support these further updated scanners.”

The AAA Screening Programme is a national NHS programme that offers free AAA screening to gentlemen aged 65 who are registered with a GP. In some people, as they get older, the wall of the aorta in the abdomen can become weakened. This can then start to expand and form what is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). The condition is most common in men aged 65 and over.