League of Friends Musgrove Park Hospital

Robotic Surgery

The League of Friends has committed to funding £1.5m robotic surgery equipment at Musgrove Park Hospital. The money will buy a da Vinci Xi surgical system, which will enable surgeons at the hospital to perform more intricate, less invasive surgery.
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Surgeons at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust are set to begin using robotic surgery for the first time in Somerset thanks to a £1.5 million commitment from the Musgrove Park Hospital League of Friends.

The money will buy a da Vinci Xi surgical system, which will enable surgeons at the hospital to perform more intricate, less invasive surgery. It means that robotic surgery could now be used in a number of different disciplines within the hospital.

Mr Paul Mackey, a consultant colorectal surgeon at Somerset FT, said: "This new development represents huge progress in the field of surgery for the surgeon and the patient. We are so grateful to the League of Friends; it really is a fantastic gift."

It has been possible to make this commitment following a number of legacies over the last couple of years, but we are hoping that donations and fundraising from individuals and groups will make it possible to fund ancillary equipment including a specialist operating table. Peter Renshaw, Chairman of the League of Friends, said: "It's been an incredible effort by all involved and I would like to thank all those many people who have helped us. It not only improves the life of patients and staff, but it helps ensure that Musgrove has the latest state of the art equipment, which helps with the recruitment and retention of the best staff. The League has been supporting the hospital for more than 60 years. We are proud of what the funding has made possible and were particularly excited about the introduction of robotic surgery in the coming months."

Commenting on the new robotic equipment, Mr Richard Bamford, one of Somerset FTs colorectal surgeons, said it was a great step forward for surgery in Somerset. "The term robotic often misleads people," he said. "Robots don't actually perform surgery; the surgeon still does that using instruments that they guide via a console. The system translates the surgeon's hand movements at the console in real time, bending and rotating the instruments while performing the procedure. The tiny instruments move like a human hand, but with a greater range of motion. It also means we will be able to conduct more intricate surgery, which will be less invasive for the patient."

Dr Daniel Meron, Chief Medical Officer at Somerset FT, said "We are very grateful to our League of Friends and its donors for funding this exciting surgery. We want to embrace the latest cutting-edge technology, which can improve the care and treatment we are able to provide for our patients. We hope this will be a real boost for our colleagues too and I'm looking forward to seeing our surgeons making full use of the robots."

About the charity

We fund additional equipment and facilities for those using Musgrove Park, including emergency accommodation for families. We celebrated 60 years as a charity in 2019 and donated £300,000 towards the Bracken Birthing Centre alongside many other large and small items of equipment.

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