A £30,000 piece of equipment dedicated to the memory of a hospital consultant has been unveiled in Otley.

Wendy Waters, whose husband Dr Kevin Waters set up the osteoporosis testing service at Wharfedale Hospital more than 20 years ago, cut a ribbon to celebrate the arrival of a new bone density scanner on Tuesday.

The equipment has been dedicated to the memory of Dr Waters, a highly-respected consultant endocrinologist who died last year, and a plaque in his memory was also unveiled in the room where it has been installed.

The scanner, whose purchase was made possible by a donation for the full cost from the Wharfedale Special Medical Equipment Fund, replaces a ten- year-old machine and will be used to diagnose osteoporosis.

Team leader in radiology at Wharfedale Hospital, Louise Cartwright, said: “This is an extremely generous donation which will secure the future of our well-used service here in the hospital for many years to come.

"We are so grateful to the fund for their continued support of our services, as they bought our first ever machine back in 1990.

“The main benefit to patients of the new scanner, compared to our previous machine, is the significantly faster scan times, being reduced from up to six minutes for a spine scan to as little as 30 seconds. The equipment is also capable of determining body composition.”

Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become brittle due to a loss of tissue, usually as a result of hormonal changes. Dr Waters’s speciality was Endocrinology, the branch of medicine concerned with endocrine glands and hormones.

Many of his friends, relatives and past colleagues joined Mrs Waters for the unveiling.

Hospital matron Zoe Kirk said: “Dr Waters was a highly-respected member of the hospital staff for many years and was absolutely instrumental in setting up this service.

“It is therefore particularly fitting to dedicate the new facility to his memory in gratitude for all he did for the hospital and for local patients, and we are delighted Mrs Waters was able to join representatives of the Wharfedale Special Medical Equipment Fund for this double celebration.”

The new equipment, a Lunar Prodigy Advance DXA scanner, is its manufacturer GE’s “flagship” densitometer, and uses a small amount of X-rays to measure bone density.

Founded in 1980, the Wharfedale Special Medical Equipment Fund relies on donations, sponsored events and legacies from local residents. It has to date provided medical equipment worth more than £200,000 to the hospital.