The Forever Friends Appeal has smashed its fundraising target for the newly relocated Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Orthodontics department at the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

Thanks to the generosity from individual donors and a local charitable trust, patients can now look forward to visiting a modern Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Orthodontics department in Zone C at the RUH.

Tim Hobbs, Head of Fundraising said:

“I would like to thank everyone who made a donation towards this special appeal. It’s thanks to everyone’s support that we’ve been able to help the RUH create a fantastic new facility for the team to continue delivering life-changing care and treatments to the 9,900 new patients treated in this department each year.

“A significant donation was made in memory of two former patients, Lyn Ann Lewkowicz and Dorothy May Angell. Both patients were treated for Orofacial cancers and we understand that when Lyn was being treated she had to travel to Bristol to have a special type of X-ray as the RUH does not have this particular piece of equipment in-house. Therefore, in tribute to Lyn, the donation will be invested in one of these specialist X-ray machines so that future patients can have all their treatment and scans at the RUH.”

A further significant donation was also received from the Medlock Charitable Trust which set up a Space to Smile challenge, a match-funding scheme which doubled the value some of the donations. Other fundraising activities came from the Walwin family and their friends who held a charity event raising £10,000 and staff from the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Orthodontics team ran in this year’s Bath Half as well as holding a silent art auction.

The facilities in the improved Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Orthodontics department includes new X-ray equipment, four modern consulting rooms, a fully equipped orthodontics suite, two minor operations rooms, an updated dental laboratory, a bright and a welcoming reception and waiting area.

Serryth Colbert, Consultant in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the RUH said:

“We are very grateful for the generous donations made to our charity, The Forever Friends Appeal. As soon as patients walk into our new department they’ll benefit from the calming, holistic environment. This is so important as we know patients can feel stressed when facing a challenging disease or injury.

“The additional funding has meant that we can purchase a Cone-Beam CT X-ray machine for our unit. Having the cone-beam technology in our clinical practice will allow early and accurate diagnosis of deep-seated facial lesions and tumors. This will make our treatment quicker and ultimately reduce waiting times. My team and I are looking forward to celebrating the opening of our new department with an official ceremony later in April.”