Our projects.

The Trustees have a good working relationship with the Cancer Unit’s consultants and nursing staff and it is from them that new projects will be suggested. It constantly surprises me the ingenuity of some of the items of equipment which we are asked to support.
Many of these items achieve huge gains for the patients, both in terms of the quality of the diagnosis or treatment and its effectiveness and also in reducing the length of time that these treatments take which can then of course have an impact on reducing waiting times.

Selection of projects

The Trustees receive requests for funding from various consultants and other medical staff involved in cancer treatments.
We have a very detailed Funding Application form which has to be completed by the applicant and be countersigned by two senior members of the RUH administration. They confirm that if the equipment is funded by us that it will be supported and has a location in the RUH from which it can operate.
Frequently we have more applications than we can fund. Thus each request is reviewed in detail by the Trustees and appropriate questions are sent back to the medical staff, before any decision is made by the Trustees.

New Project - MVision Artificial Intelligence (AI) Auto-contouring software. £74,504

AI auto-contouring is a process where software algorithms are used to automatically identify and outline healthy tissues in medical images, such as CT or MRI scans. This technology can help clinical oncologists to create accurate treatment plans by providing precise contours of the surrounding healthy organs in order to limit the radiotherapy dose to these.

AI auto-contouring therefore reduces the amount of time that clinical oncologists need to spend planning radiotherapy, liberating more time to be spent with patients to discuss and agree their personalised treatment plan and supervise its delivery.

The Richard Oatley Foundation

We are delighted to have received a donation from the above Foundation to fund the acquisition of the AI Auto Contouring Software. A contribution is also being raised by one of the surgeons, Stuart Gillett who is competing in a Deca-ironman event in Mexico and is raising sponsorship with a target of £15,000. (Update: he actually raised £25,218!)

The Richard Oatley Foundation is a charitable trust very generously set up by the late Richard Oatley who was a farmer in Rode near Frome. He intended that a number of local charities in Somerset and Wiltshire supporting issues close to his heart, should benefit from this fund. One of the causes he wished to support was cancer research and patient support. The Trustees considered our application for funding of this project and approved a grant to cover the full cost.

The Trustees of that Foundation have also very kindly offered to match fund the Sportsman’s Dinner being run by the Lions Club of Frome on 1 February 2024 up to a maximum of £15,000.

New Project - Paxman Scalp Coolers. Cost for 8 Coolers £126,869.

Paxman Inner Silicone Cap

Paxman Inner Silicone Cap

Paxman Cold Cap

Paxman Cold Cap

Hair loss (Alopecia) is a common and distressing side effect of chemotherapy treatment.

Scalp cooling is a method of minimising chemotherapy induced hair loss. It works by inducing vasoconstriction and reduction of metabolism. Vasoconstriction leads to reduced blood flow to the hair follicles during the peak period for peak plasma concentration of chemotherapy agents being administered.

It is estimated that the blood flow is reduced to 20 – 40% of the normal rate through scalp cooling.  The reduction in metabolism makes the hair follicles less susceptible to damage caused by the chemotherapy agent.

 

We are delighted to have received full funding for eight Scalp Coolers, including five years maintenance and training, from a generous donor. The RUH has placed the order.

2021 to-date Current Fundraising Project

To raise £580,000 (currently over half of target raised) in order to purchase two Surface Guided Radiotherapy (SGRT) systems for the new cancer centre being built at the RUH.

SGRT reduces the risk to adjoining tissue such as the heart, lungs or brain if the patient moves during radiotherapy. The equipment switches off automatically if the patient moves at all.

SGRT also avoids the need for positioning tattoos and there is much less manual handling of the patient when getting them into the correct position for treatment and in the case of head & neck patients an open face mask can be used rather than a closed one therefore providing a much less claustrophobic experience.

Our past projects

As at October 2023 a total of £5.9 million has been raised and used to purchase the following items:

•2023 – Two Airgloves

The Airglove is an air warming system to improve access to veins prior to administration of drugs such as chemotherapy. It consists of a heating unit and tube containing a heat outlet, and single-use disposable double-walled polythene ‘gloves’. The glove is placed on the tube and over the forearm; the glove seals on the forearm and heats it using warm air. Heating the limb prior to attempting cannulation dilates the veins and makes cannulation easier and more comfortable for the patient and results in a high percentage achieving a positive outcome on the first attempt.

The purchase of the Airgloves was funded by generous donations from a former patient and our longstanding supporters. (£2,000)

•2020 – An upgraded Solid– State Gamma Camera. The NHS funded a standard model. BCUSG added an additional £340K, enabling a more advanced model to be purchased. The first of its type to be installed in the UK.

•2019 – Two Real Time Position Management Respiratory Gating Systems (£62K)
•2019 – Out of Hours Helpline for chemotherapy outpatients (£68K)
•2019 – Development of a Quiet Room for families of patients with palliative end of life care needs (£14,318)
•2019 – A trial of the Clinical and Cost Effectiveness of Low Level Laser in the management of oral mucositis in head and neck irridation (£4,150)
•2017 – Additional equipment for the Positron Scanner (£90K)

•2016 – The first fixed site Positron (PET-CT) Scanner Unit in an NHS hospital in the West Country together with Wall & Ceiling Art (£1.2M)

As usual the project attracted support from all ages.

•2012 – New work station to allow radiologists to assess images from a new mobile scanner
•2012 – A grant to the charity ‘Positive Action on Cancer’ which provides free professional counselling to anyone affected by the condition
•2012 – Specialist high resolution monitors to view mammography images
•2012 – New X-ray equipment to treat patients with skin cancer
•2012 – Software allowing doctors to view cancer scan images from more computer terminals
•2012 – Five patient and three chemotherapy trolleys
•2011 – Funding an enhanced digital mammography facility
•2011 – Refurbishing a quiet room in the Uro Oncology Dept

•2010 – Purchasing Terarecon Client Image manipulation software
•2010 – Replacing the superficial X-ray treatment unit.

 

 

This year was the 25th anniversary of Bath Cancer Unit Support Group, and the then Duchess of Cornwall congratulated BCUSG on it’s work in support of the Cancer Unit.

•2012 – New work station to allow radiologists to assess images from a new mobile scanner
•2012 – A grant to the charity ‘Positive Action on Cancer’ which provides free professional counselling to anyone affected by the condition
•2012 – Specialist high resolution monitors to view mammography images
•2012 – New X-ray equipment to treat patients with skin cancer
•2012 – Software allowing doctors to view cancer scan images from more computer terminals
•2012 – Five patient and three chemotherapy trolleys
•2011 – Funding an enhanced digital mammography facility
•2011 – Refurbishing a quiet room in the Uro Oncology Dept
•2010 – Purchasing Terarecon Client Image manipulation software
•2010 – Replacing the superficial X-ray treatment unit
•2009 – Constructing a quiet room where diagnoses can be discussed
•2008 – Additional patients toilets
•2006 – Setting up a Cancer Information Centre
•2004 – Providing the radioactive ‘seeds’ at the start of the Prostrate Brachytherapy service
•2003 – New day treatment unit
•2000 – Purchasing a second Linear Accelerator
•1998 – Relocating the cytology (cervical smear) laboratory
•1994 – A day treatment centre for chemotherapy patients
•1991 – Refurbishing the Oncology reception & waiting areas

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Pearson May for their continued support.
Geoff Parselle for many of our photographs.