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Charitable Trust

RUH patients benefit from revolutionary technology

A generous legacy and donation from a local charitable trust is making a huge difference to patients needing complex facial and dental surgery at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust (RUH).

Clinicians in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Orthodontics department now have access to a brand new in-house 3D surgical planning and prosthetic design service, enabling them to plan surgical procedures in ways that were previously not possible.

By being able to provide this service, the department is seeing many benefits for their patients. There is no longer a need for patients to travel to Bristol for a special type of scan as all the treatment can be done at the RUH, helping to reduce anxiety and waiting times.

Serryth Colbert, Consultant in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, said: “The new scanner and the additional pieces of equipment, such as the 3D printer and the surgical design software is dramatically improving our efficiency in diagnosis and surgical treatment planning.”

“To highlight how valuable this new service is, we saw a young patient as an emergency case during the first COVID lockdown. He had a terrible jaw infection and difficulty breathing. Furthermore, he had a phobia of hospitals and that, combined with his anxiety over lockdown, meant he didn’t seek help until the symptoms had progressed significantly.”

“He had a scan using the new equipment and we printed a 3D model of his jaw. We were able to produce a diagnostic aide and reassure him by showing him the model and talking him through how the surgery would be done. The operation was a great success, and thanks to the pre-operative surgical planning, we were able to reduce his stay in hospital.

“Without a doubt the new scanner and 3D printer is improving patient outcomes, as well as reducing surgical time and patient waiting times. We are so grateful to the gentleman who left a gift in his will to our department and to the charitable Trust for their support. The impact is highly beneficial and we are providing the best treatment possible for our patients.”

The advanced scanner is also being used on a daily basis to assess a number of conditions, including impacted teeth, fractures, trauma, facial bone malposition, cysts and tumours.

Chris Keating, Specialty 3D and Dental Technician, who runs the 3D digital printing service said:

“We have been able to revolutionise the way in which we approach a patient’s case. This technology allows surgeons to enhance the precision of treatment and the planning of surgical procedures. 3D digital models can either be printed for diagnostic purposes or they can go on to be used in multiple stages of pre-operative surgical planning and implant design.

“The technology can also be used in other departments including orthopaedics that may need a customised surgical plate and cardiology, who have the opportunity of converting 2D clinical imaging into 3D anatomical models for heart surgeries and aneurisms.  This technology has opened up new potential for treatment – the sky is the limit.”

Jan Witt, Legacy Manager, The Forever Friends Appeal said: ‘”We are indebted to the late Bob Angell from Chippenham and the Medlock Charitable Trust whose incredible generosity has enabled the hospital to offer this excellent level of care to its patients.

“We look forward to hearing from clinicians how the technology is being rolled out to benefit patients in other departments at the RUH.”

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The Helen Straker Charity raises £36,000 for The Forever Friends Appeal

On Tuesday 5 December the Helen Straker Charity announced it has raised £72,000 during 2017 in aid of two charities, The Forever Friends Appeal and Dorothy House Hospice Care. Both charities received £36,000 each at a cheque presentation held at The Bear Hotel in Devizes as they were the two favourite charities of Helen Straker, late wife of Gordon Straker, who died in 2013 and was an active fundraiser throughout her life.

Gordon Straker (central) presents cheques to Dorothy House Hospice and RUH. Photo: Siobhan Boyle SMB2257/4

This year’s fundraising total by the Helen Straker Charity was raised across the year at a number of events including their annual golf day and clay pigeon shoot plus a generous contribution from the Devizes Lions Club.  This follows another great year of fundraising last year when the Helen Straker Charity raised a total of £80,000.

A proactive fundraiser for both the new Cancer Centre which will be built at the Royal United Hospitals, Bath and Dorothy House Hospice Care, Helen Straker sadly lost her brave fight against cancer in 2013.  Her husband, Gordon Straker, continued Helen’s impressive fundraising efforts and The Helen Straker Charity was officially registered in 2014. The charity now organises a variety of fundraising events each year including golf days, clay pigeon shoots, dinners, balls and comedy nights.

Gordon Straker, Trustee of the Helen Straker Charity said: “My thanks to all the companies, individuals and sponsors who supported the charity this year. Well done to all involved it’s a great achievement. We are proud to have raised £72,000 in funds for Helen’s two chosen charities this year as her aim in life was to help others and it is very satisfying to be able to continue her legacy as she would have wished.”

Jan Witt, In Memory & Legacy Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal said: “On behalf of the Appeal, I personally would like to thank the Trustees of the Helen Straker charity for their continued support, commitment and raising funds for the RUH’s pioneering new Cancer Centre which will provide a highly beneficial healing environment, transforming care for patients and their families. In recognition for their superb fundraising efforts totalling £150,000 in just three years, the Helen Straker Charity are now Principal Family Partners of The Forever Friends Appeal, meaning they will have a naming opportunity for one of the specialist areas or departments within the new Cancer Centre.”

Strakers receive plaque from the Forever Friends Appeal

Phillippa Watson, Head of Fundraising at Dorothy House Hospice Care said: “Many congratulations to the charity for raising such significant funds once again in 2017, it is greatly appreciated and will help Dorothy House continue to provide specialist care for people living with a life-limiting illness. We are extremely grateful to Gordon Straker, the charity Trustees and to the Devizes Lions Club this year for all their hard work and fundraising efforts.  Dorothy House cared for Helen during her battle with cancer and we’re proud to remain a beneficiary of the Helen Straker Charity.”

For information about the Helen Straker Charity please contact Gordon Straker on: 01380 720 371.  To donate to The Forever Friends Appeal click here or to volunteer for Dorothy House Hospice Care please visit www.dorothyhouse.org.uk

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Charitable Trust buys life-saving equipment for the RUH

More lives are being saved at the RUH thanks to a new high-tech surgical imaging machine which has been funded by a local Charitable Trust.

The benefactor of the Trust, who wishes to remain anonymous, generously donated £56,000 to The Forever Friends Appeal, so they could buy the much-needed instrument called a BV Pulsera

It’s now in use in the RUH’s Gastroenterology department, which specialises in all aspects of the digestive system, including the upper and lower bowel, liver, and pancreas.  Its main purpose is to take and then display real-time imaging for a range of clinical procedures such as diagnosing and treating biliary and pancreatic cancer as well as gall stone disease. It also allows the operator to place stents across blockages in the oesophagus, and the first part of the small intestines and the colon.

 Tina Thresher, Endoscopy Ward Manager, RUH said:

“It’s a vast improvement on our present equipment. Since it’s been installed in our department it’s already saved two peoples’ lives, including a patient who was in Critical Care who needed a Gastroenterology procedure. As we had the BV Pulsera ready to use, all we had to do was coordinate staff and expertise.

“This surgical imaging instrument is truly lifesaving and we can’t extend our gratitude enough for such a generous donation.”

The BV Pulsera will not only be used for emergency cases, but also for scheduled procedures – and is now linked up to the RUH’s seminar room for use at regional training days to teach other clinicians how to do specialist procedures.

Ben Colleypriest, Consultant in Gastroenterology and Hepatology, RUH said:

“This is a vital piece of equipment that will change people’s lives on a weekly basis. The upgrade from our previous equipment is revolutionary. It has improved the quality of care we deliver to hundreds of patients and opens up new avenues of treatment. We are extremely grateful for the donation.”

 Edward Hassall, Trusts and Foundations Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“We’re thrilled to have received this generous support. It means a huge amount to the clinicians in the Gastroenterology Unit. Donations like this, which sit outside our major fundraising campaigns, make a huge difference in helping to support the delivery of high quality healthcare – as well as to save people’s lives. We’re extremely thankful for the kind gift.

“If you’re interested in making a donation to the RUH, we would be delighted to hear from you. To find out more click here.”

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