League of Friends buys high-tech cancer detection equipment

Published: 3 September 2019

New cancer detection equipment worth a staggering £1.3m has been handed over to Torbay Hospital by a charity.

The Torbay Hospital League of Friends (LoF) presented 34 brand new, high definition endoscopes to the hospital’s endoscopy unit to support thousands of procedures a year, helping to prevent, detect and diagnose a wide range of illnesses.

The charity’s mammoth fund-raising challenge also provided the latest digital video recording equipment linked to the scopes for the three medical rooms in the hospital’s Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Department.

Dr Mark Feeney, Consultant Gastroenterologist and Endoscopy Lead for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The new equipment has made a huge difference. On behalf of all our patients we would like to thank the League of Friends for this extremely generous donation. We can assure you that the equipment will be well used.”

He added that more than 11,000 procedures are undertaken in the department each year. The new equipment provides high definition images that allow the detection and removal of colonic polyps before cancer develops and the management of other gut problems.

The new endoscopes are very thin and flexible and this improves patient comfort. The League of Friends has been a long term supporter of the endoscopy department, having bought the original equipment that started the service in the 1980s.

Kathryn Westaway, Chairman of Torbay Hospital’s League of Friends, said: “Following our hugely successful appeal to raise £1.6m to help equip the new intensive care unit in the hospital, we were delighted to help Mark when he asked us to consider funding the new endoscopy equipment so urgently needed. We realise that it is vitally important for patients to have the benefit of the latest equipment which shows such high definition images.”

The League of Friends is a charity that over the years has made significant contributions to improve levels of care for the people of Torbay and South Devon through fundraising events and donations. This includes funding towards the intensive care unit at Torbay Hospital and purchasing new high-tech medical equipment for many other teams across the Trust.