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£25.5k boost from the Mayor’s Charity to Southend Hospital’s Urology Service

06 November 2018

Fundraising

Patients undergoing diagnostic tests for suspected bladder cancer at Southend University Hospital have been given a major boost in the battle against the disease, thanks to a £25,500 donation made by former Southend Mayor Fay Evans.

Cllr Evans, who relinquished the top civic post in May this year, gave money from her charity. The cash was used to buy a new system called a flexible cystoscopy stack.

The device, for use on men and women, incorporates a camera that can be placed through a patient's urethra to view the bladder and surrounding areas, including the prostate. It uses specialist technology, known as narrow-hand imagery, which highlights cancerous cells. 

The stack enables images to be viewed on screen by members of the urology team, assisting with diagnosis, taking biopsies or removing stents. Advanced imaging can also be taken to help improve treatment planning.

Mr Peter Acher, a consultant urologist at Southend Hospital, explained how this new device is already making a huge difference for both patients and staff. He said: "The camera stack system with high resolution monitor is a great step forward. It is much more comfortable for the patient and the doctor and the procedure much more dignified.

"Vision within the bladder is greatly enhanced and the patient can be involved at every step seeing inside their bladder in real time. Other members of the team can also be involved allowing training in a safe environment. The narrow band imaging technology improves diagnosis over standard 'white light' by enhancing cancer cells that may otherwise go un-noticed."

This latest donation takes the total donated by the Mayor's charity to the hospital to nearly £40,000, thanks to kind donations at the final hour - £10,000 from Southend United and £1,000 from United Wards St George's Society.

"If I do nothing else with my life, I know that I have achieved something special," said Cllr Evans, a former breast cancer sufferer.  "I wanted to pick causes that help men and women so aimed breast and prostate cancer care. I am so proud of the money we have raised and the difference we have been able to make to patients."

As well as the stack, the cash has been used towards brachytherapy treatment for prostate cancer. There is a further £5,000 left in the fund, which will be used to purchase and install sky ceilings to the hospital's breast unit.

Laura Mason, Corporate Relations Manager for Southend Hospital Charity, said: "We are incredibly grateful for this significant donation, it will make a huge difference to the patients treated in these areas. A special thank you goes out to the former mayor and her team for all of their hard work and continued dedication to Southend Hospital."