£1.5 million appeal reaches fundraising milestone of £250,000.
Fundraisers preparing big push in next few months – from marathon runners to Welsh learners and Three Peaks’ Challenges.
Robot appeal supporters Alice and Stephanie Kay, who lost their mother to oral cancer, will campaign to help raise funds and awareness of the disease and robot-assisted surgery as part of oral cancer awareness month, and raise funds for the appeal. (See case study at end of press release)
Robot-assisted surgery allows patients to be discharged from hospital within a matter of days, helping the hospital to get its surgical programme on track through delivering the quickest, safest surgery possible.
Robot surgery will help improve patient outcomes in six key clinical areas.
The fundraising campaign to buy the new surgical robot - that will mean quicker, less invasive surgery and faster healing and recovery times for patients – has inspired dozens of fundraisers to support in a unique fashion. Many have taken part in the 1000 Challenge – asking if people can complete an activity a thousand times to raise £1,000 – along with a variety of other efforts to help the NHS including:
Running the London Marathon on 3 October
Learning Welsh for 1000 minutes
Learning mandolin for 1000 minutes
Penalty kick challenges
The Grantchester charity run
Doing the Three Peaks Challenge
Walking for a thousand minutes (16 hours 40 minutes)
Organising a tractor run in support of the campaign
Walking up a flight of stairs ten times a day for 100 days.
ACT is now gearing up the next phase of its Robot Appeal and is asking the public to take part in some fundraising activity over the next few months to help the NHS at a critical time.
The charity is calling on its supporters and the public to come up with their suggestions to help raise funds or take part in the 1000 Challenge, or to donate, to help reach the £1.5 million target as quickly as possible.
Helping post-pandemic NHS recovery
Shelly Thake, Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust’s (ACT) CEO, said: “We want to say a massive thank you to all those who have supported our appeal so far. It has been a magnificent response that shows how the public want to help the NHS at this critical time.
“We hope we can once again call upon those who support the NHS and Addenbrooke’s to help us reach our Robot Appeal target. With the pressures caused by the pandemic, the hospital needs our help to get its surgical programme moving again and to deliver the quickest, safest surgery possible.
“Following the pandemic, people now more clearly grasp that hospital charities have a big impact in supporting innovation and research and staff wellbeing measures.
“The past 18 months has shown that the public want to help the NHS in the best way possible and by working with charities like ACT, they know that their efforts are delivering above and beyond what can be currently done. People are inspired by the NHS and the care they have received and want to give back where they can.”
About robotic surgery
The robot will enable surgeons and their teams to operate on more patients, from people with pancreatic cancer to gynaecology patients, enabling them to recuperate faster and get home to their families more quickly.
Robotic surgery is a form of keyhole surgery involving small incisions where the surgeon operates on the patient by controlling a computer-enhanced robot, mimicking the surgeon’s hands and wrist movements, and allowing absolute precision.
The large 3D view of the patient’s organs enables surgeons to perform many types of complex procedures with enhanced vision, greater precision, flexibility, and control than is possible with conventional techniques.
The benefits of robotic surgery for patients are immense and can change patients’ lives. It can take months to recover from traditional, ‘open’ surgery but incisions made using robotic surgery are much smaller, reducing the risk of complications and infection, minimising scarring, pain, and discomfort and helping patients recover and return home more quickly. Following robot-assisted surgery, patients can be discharged from hospital within a matter of days, not weeks.
However, Addenbrooke’s currently only has one robot which is dedicated to kidney, bladder, and prostate cancer patients. ACT’s new appeal will help fund another surgical robot, that could revolutionise patient care across six specialities in the hospital including urology, gynae-oncology, gynaecology, lower GI (gastrointestinal tract), ENT (ear, nose, and throat) and HPB (Hepato-Pancreatico-Biliary - diseases of the liver, pancreas and biliary tree) and improving outcomes for many more patients every year.
One specialty area that could benefit is head and neck surgery, which can be very invasive and where some tumours are difficult to reach. This can lead to scarring that can be very distressing for patients. A surgical robot can access the tumour through the mouth with precision meaning that patients regain the ability to swallow much more quickly, can eat and drink without help, and need less ongoing treatment. ACT’s campaign to buy a surgical robot could help ENT patients get back on their feet much sooner after an operation.
To find out more please visit www.helpyourhospital.co.uk/robot
Image: Mr Siong-Seng Liau, Consultant Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgeon