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Dr Laws and Dr Bowen-Perkins were frustrated with long local hospital waiting times for scans and read early reports of the use of ultrasound in Primary Care settings in medical literature with interest. Having attended a foundation course with Portsmouth University, they established such a service within their own practice, this commenced in 1999.

An area of interest was the use of ultrasound for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening. All the published work to date was hospital based; they both thought it was something that could be offered in Primary Care. Funding was secured to offer screening to the patients registered with their surgery.

At this point a sonographer was employed, and the screening service was established; scanning men aged 65+ registered with the surgery. The results from this were encouraging, 400 men were scanned, 18 aneurysms were found as well as several other significant abnormalities.

The results for this were presented to the Primary HealthCare Trust (PHCT) and funding was then secured to offer screening to all men aged 65+ registered with the PHCT. This project involved scanning 2870 men, the results were published in the Journal of Medical Screening in 2006.

Following this success, and with the support and encouragement of local GPs and Hospitals, Surrey Ultrasound Services was established in 2001 and received its first contract to provide Primary Care based general ultrasound scans. Since then, it has grown from strength to strength, now providing clinics in 11 locations. Last year we saw over 10,000 patients.

All the sonographers employed by Surrey Ultrasound Services have many years of experience. They have previously worked at a variety of centres of excellence, all have practical teaching experience and some have University lecturing involvement. We have also been involved in TV programmes such as ‘The Food Hospital’. All our sonographers are registered with the Health Professionals Council (HPC).

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