The Music v Cancer charity has put Hartlepool on the map for cancer detection after raising £15,000 for a new endoscopy training centre.
The charity, working alongside Support your Bowel, raised the money for the training equipment in the Rutherford Morrison Unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.
Tony Larkin, Founder of Music v Cancer, said: “To know that our weekenders and music concerts have contributed to saving lives is a great feeling.
“In the past we’ve supplied valuable equipment for cancer detection to the trust, but now with this new facility we can focus on staff training and ensuring that cancer is detected at the earliest possible stages.
“It was very important to us at Music v Cancer that the centre be in Hartlepool, this not only moves the training facility from North Tees and creates more space for patients, but means that 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.
In attendance also was professor Matt Rutter, consultant gastroenterologist, who works nationally on bowel screening programmes.
He said: “To say I’m impressed is an understatement, this is the very latest in technology and puts Hartlepool at the forefront nationally for endoscopy training.
“The new equipment and facilities will improve training at the trust and in time, hospitals from up and down the country who send their staff here.
“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, got together 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 staff of the future and ensure they are detecting cancer at the earliest possible signs.
“We would like to say a big thank you on behalf of all of us to the family, friends and patients who have all contributed and helped to make this possible.”
Plans are already underway for Music v Cancer’s next music weekender, which will be taking place next April.