University of Sheffield supports only second scanner of its kind in the UK for Sheffield Children’s Hospital

University of Sheffield supports only second scanner of its kind in the UK for Sheffield Children’s Hospital

The Children’s Hospital Charity has today launched a life-changing EOS scanner to help young patients at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, only the second of its kind for children in the UK.

Based on a Nobel prize-winning invention, EOS provides an ultra-low dose 2D and 3D digital X-ray system and will hugely improve the diagnosis and treatment of orthopaedic patients. Patients can sit or stand, with a complete head-to-toe image provided in 15 seconds or less.

The machine also ensures an 80% reduction in X-ray exposure, reduced waiting times and improved image quality enabling more accurate assessments and surgical planning. It will enhance the already world-leading spinal service at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, which became the first hospital in Europe last year to perform ground-breaking ‘trolley’ surgery to correct a spine curvature.

Costing £380,000, the machine was made possible thanks to a £280,000 donation from the Morrisons Foundation, a charity set up by the supermarket, and large donations from The University of Sheffield and David and Jean Fyfe’s 2018 Daffodil Ball in aid of The Children’s Hospital Charity.

Sam Burden, Morrisons Foundation Specialist, said: “We set up the Morrisons Foundation to support charities which make a real difference to people’s lives, and The Children’s Hospital Charity does just that. We’re delighted to have supported their state-of-the-art EOS scanner which will help young patients at the hospital for many years to come.”

Dr Enrico Dall’Ara from the Department of Oncology and Metabolism at the University of Sheffield said: “The EOS system will allow collaborative research between the University and the hospital to improve the diagnosis and treatments of musculoskeletal diseases in children and adults, building on expertise developed within the Insigneo institute for in silico medicine.”

“We look forward to using the EOS system to push the boundaries of musculoskeletal research in Sheffield and internationally!”

The new equipment will particularly aid those patients requiring limb and spine curvature examinations, who will now be able to get a much clearer X-ray. The reduction in radiation exposure will also help those requiring regular scans, such as scoliosis spine patients.

One patient who has already benefited from the scan is 15-year-old Philippa Walker. Philippa was diagnosed with scoliosis in June 2015 at the age of 11, after her Mum noticed a lump on her back during a breathing exercise in a singing lesson.

While scoliosis is common in those aged 65 and over, there are just three or four known cases for every thousand children in the UK.

Mum Julie said: “It was a huge shock to find out she had scoliosis, we’d never heard of it. Looking back, we believe from looking at old photos that she may have had it in some form from the age of five, as there’s a difference in shoulder and hip height.

“But Philippa wasn’t concerned about fashion or playing with everyone, all she wanted to do growing up was practice her music, so we never noticed.”

Philippa began treatment with the specialist team at Sheffield Children’s Hospital in October, who quickly fitted her with a back brace, in order to prevent her curvature worsening while she continued to grow.

The teenager continued to wear the brace for 20 hours a day for the next three years, with her long-term ambition to become an opera singer and perform wearing the customary backless dress proving valuable motivation to persist with the device.

Remarkably, the care Philippa received at Sheffield Children’s Hospital helped not only to prevent the condition from worsening, but also reversed the curvature substantially without the need for surgery.

Pleased with her progress, Philippa now only attends appointments every six months at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and in October, she became one of the first to use the new EOS scanner. When she learned it was charity funded, she was inspired to raise money and awareness to say thank you. So far, she has raised over £300 for The Children’s Hospital Charity by busking.

Julie said: “We always said we’d wait until after her GCSEs but Philippa decided the cause was so important it couldn’t wait. A lot of people may have a curvature and have scoliosis without knowing it, so she’s doing it for them”.

John Somers, Chief Executive of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said “We are incredibly grateful to the people who support our work here at Sheffield Children’s. Our staff are amazing, providing specialist care with compassion every day. But with the latest equipment and donor-funded facilities, we can go even further to help children both locally and nationally.

“The new EOS scanner will be part of our world-leading spinal service here at the hospital and will allow us to do even more to help children like Philippa.”

To find out more about the difference the EOS scanner will make to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, visit