One hundred years of service to The Royal Marsden

The Royal Marsden has today waved goodbye to four of its diagnostic radiology team in Sutton, who have worked at the Trust collectively for over 100 years.

22 March 2016

Dee Mears, Sutton CT Lead; Linda Hastings, US Lead; and Joyce Austin and Susan Laybourne, Senior Radiographers are all retiring after over 100 years combined at the Trust. Between them they have witnessed many changes, challenges and developments at the hospital and in the field of radiology.

Dee joined The Royal Marsden in 1977 to set up the UK’s second CT body scanner. Dee says: “In 1977 in CT it was a very hard day’s work to scan six patients. Today, Sutton CT has two back to back state-of-the-art CT scanners with extensive scanning capabilities, which I had a role in designing and implementing, and CT now operates a very efficient service, scanning on average 55 patients per day.” She also assisted with the first CT guided biopsy in the UK, performed by Dame Professor Janet Husband.

Together, Joyce and Sue set up the first NHS digital mammography units in the UK, within the Sutton Rapid Diagnostic Assessment Centre (RDAC). Joyce has been the SOR rep for the Sutton radiology department, offering huge support to staff and the Trust. As SOR London region secretary for seven years, Joyce organised study days that were fabulously attended and will be some of the best remembered.

Linda set up the original breast ultrasound (US) service within RDAC on both sites, and then assisted the set up for research ultrasound within the West Wing, as well as supporting and training many radiologists and radiographers.

Linda has had a major impact on diagnostic radiographers and ultrasonographers, undertaking training and role extension for general ultrasound, breast US and interventional breast US procedures, developing a comprehensive training programme which has improved the efficiency within the breast service.

RDAC continued to lead the way with UK firsts with the Intact and EnCor biopsy units, which can reduce patients having surgical intervention for very small breast lesions. Dee says: “We have all enjoyed working as a team in radiology at The Royal Marsden and have many happy memories to take with us into retirement.”

Radiology Service Manager Michaela Summers said: “We were very sad today to say goodbye to four of our highly valued members of staff from the diagnostic radiology team. All of them have been integral staff members to the Imaging department in Sutton and have witnessed and been part of many of The Royal Marsden’s site developments, changes, radiological  technical development and enhancements and service developments. They will be missed by their radiological colleagues as well as other Royal Marsden staff members with whom they have worked collaboratively over the years. We would like to extend our thanks for all their hard work and dedication and wish them all the best for their retirement.”