Hartlepool leads the way in fight against cancer

Staff at the University Hospital of Hartlepool mark the opening of the Endoscopy Training Centre.
Staff at the University Hospital of Hartlepool mark the opening of the Endoscopy Training Centre.

Hartlepool is leading the way in the fight against cancer thanks to a charity.

Music v Cancer, working alongside Support your Bowel, has invested £15,000 and opened a new Endoscopy Training Centre at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

Nurses and specialist staff from around the country can come to Hartlepool for a three-day intensive skills course using an endoscope for cancer detection. It’s all thanks to the charity which holds musical weekender events as well as concerts to raise money.

Tony Larkin, founder of Music v Cancer, said: “In the past we’ve supplied valuable equipment for cancer detection to North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, but now with this new facility we can focus on staff training and ensuring that cancer is detected at the earliest possible stages.”

He said it would move the training facility from North Tees and creates more space there for patients, but also means Hartlepool will be “put on the medical map for cancer detection.”

The facility was opened by chief executive Alan Foster and medical director David Emerton from the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

Also there was Professor Matt Rutter, a consultant gastroenterologist, who works nationally on bowel screening programmes.

He said: “The equipment is so advanced that professionals can link in to live endoscopy scans to review technique and ask for medical opinions not just from national hospitals but also into Europe.”

The centre came about when both Music v Cancer and Support your Bowel, decided to fund this project after their last donation of two video cystoscopies for the University Hospital of North Tees costing £37,000.

Anil Agarwal, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon and Founder of Support Your Bowel, said: “This centre is a dedicated training unit, which will be educating medical and nursing staff of the future and ensure they are detecting cancer at the earliest possible signs.”

Plans are already underway for Music v Cancer’s next music weekender in April.