New ultrasound equipment worth approximately £25,000 at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton is expected to cut waiting times for patients with musculoskeletal conditions.

Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) treatment is now available at the hospital's Musculoskeletal (MSK) Service thanks to the Friends of the Friarage.

The charity said the new ACUSON Juniper ultrasound scanner is a high-performance system that helps to provide a more seamless service for patients awaiting diagnosis on a range of MSK conditions.

The clinic, based within the Physiotherapy department at the hospital, is headed by Chris Dunne, advanced practitioner physiotherapist, who has completed a postgraduate diploma in medical ultrasound to be able to use the machine.

Chris Dunne with the new ACUSON Juniper Ultrasound System at the Friarage Hospital

Chris said the new service at the Friarage is expected to simultaneously cut waiting times for patients and relieve pressure from the Radiology department.

“There are more than 200 musculoskeletal conditions that affect the joints, bones and muscles and also include rarer autoimmune diseases and back pain," he said. "The Friarage has an expert and specialist team working with patients to investigate, diagnose and treat these conditions.

"An important piece of equipment in the team’s toolkit is Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS). This helps the clinical team of doctors, nurses and physiotherapists in their diagnosis of a condition and is also used to guide them in treatments helping them to be accurate with guided injections such as injecting anaesthetic or cortisone into the joint to ease pain. 

"There had been a notable bottleneck in services around Radiology with regards to post-Covid waits. Our aim is that the system will reduce waiting times for procedures which would normally be referred to Radiology.

"This will provide a more seamless service and greater continuity of care. It is hoped to provide earlier diagnosis, prevent development of chronicity, reduced surgical complexity, and allow for more accurate prioritisation.

"We are incredibly grateful to Friends of the Friarage for their support to allow for the development of these services."

Throughout 2024 the Friends of the Friarage is running its Eye Appeal to raise £200,000 to fund vitreo-retinal eye surgery equipment in the new surgical hub at the Friarage in order to treat patients closer to home rather than at James Cook Hospital. To find out more about the appeal and how to donate, see

To donate by post, cheques should be made to Friends of the Friarage and posted to: Room 47 Admin Building, Friarage Hospital, Bullamoor Road, Northallerton, DL6 1JG.