Gold winning Olympian James Cracknell drops into Weston General Hospital to support the Trust’s Scanner Appeal

Double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell OBE popped into Weston General Hospital on Thursday to donate a £750 cheque to the Trust’s Scanner Appeal on behalf of a local healthcare company Somerset Surgical Services.

Somerset Surgical Services are based at Weston General Hospital.   

They are an independent healthcare provider founded by NHS clinicians offering a range of surgical procedures to NHS patients including cataracts, plastic surgery and orthopaedics. 


James visited the X-Ray Department for about half an hour where Radiology staff took him on a short tour of the department, showed him how

some of the scanning equipment works and explained the improvements that the Scanner Appeal will bring to patients. They also took the opportunity to take a few selfies with the Olympian.


James was accompanied by Director of Somerset Surgical Services Mr Mike Radford, who’s also an Orthopaedic Surgeon at Weston General Hospital.


Speaking about his visit, James Cracknell OBE said:


“I’m delighted to support the Appeal. My Godmother is a Radiologist and my mum is a physiotherapist so this is quite familiar to me.


“I think with any branch of medicine the most important thing is getting the right diagnosis from the start. These state of the art scanning machines don’t come cheap and the more we have the quicker people can get seen and have the right treatment.


“As an athlete I’m keen to promote health and fitness for everyone. As part of this I’m helping to organise the Weston-super-Mare half marathon in 2018 and alongside becoming more familiar with this beautiful area, it’s a bonus to be able to support the local hospital as well.”


Discussing why Somerset Surgical Services wanted to donate to the Scanner Appeal, Mr Mike Radford explained:


“As part of our company ethos we are very keen to support good causes both nationally and locally.  It’s up to our staff to decide which charity we support - it was a very easy decision for us to get behind our own Trust’s Scanner Appeal.


“As an orthopaedic surgeon I know the difference faster access and better diagnostics will make to our patients so I was delighted to introduce James to the Appeal.”


David Boughey, representing the Appeal and the League of Friends said: “I’d like to thank Somerset Surgical Services for their generous donation and give a huge thank you to James Cracknell for taking time out of his busy schedule to visit us at the hospital. As well as much needed support to the Appeal, staff were thrilled to meet him.


The Scanner Appeal is a joint campaign between the Trust which runs the hospital and its League of Friends – a charity that raises funds for projects around the hospital.


The appeal aims to raise £400,000 to refurbish Weston General’s X-Ray department and for new scanning equipment which will greatly improve the service it delivers to thousands of patients it sees each year.


Any organisations wishing to be involved in fundraising for the hospital’s Scanner Appeal please email for more information.


Donation to the appeal can be made via the League of Friends shop which is located inside the hospital, or by texting SCAN16 and the amount to 70070.


Photo shows: (l-r Director of Operations Phil Walmsley, James Cracknell OBE, David Boughey, League of Friends, Mr Mike Radford, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon & Director Somerset Surgical Services)