Royal Free Hospital: Winter appeal

Posted on 6/11/2022

Belsize Park residents are being urged to support a fundraising appeal that could see the introduction of London’s first one-stop NHS lung cancer diagnostic service at the Royal Free Hospital.

The introduction of a medical thoracoscopy service at the Royal Free Hospital would mean patients with a fluid-filled lung cavity could have a biopsy taken and receive treatment during the same procedure. 

At the moment, patients are referred for surgery to have their biopsy. A thoracoscopy service could shave up to four weeks off the time it takes to receive a diagnosis. 

It is one of three cancer improvement projects the Royal Free Charity is raising money for this winter on behalf of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. With funding, the other two areas that could see changes are:

  • Expanding a digital mammography service to Barnet Hospital so that people with suspected breast cancer can have a quicker and more accurate diagnosis followed by faster access to treatment. 
  • Using virtual reality to improve the experience of patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy at Chase Farm and Finchley Memorial hospitals.

Jon Spiers, Royal Free Charity chief executive, said: “We’re extremely grateful that the support of our local community in recent years ensured we could address some of the most pressing needs of the Royal Free London’s staff and patients in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Now, we’re turning our attention to cancer. We want to fund projects that will speed up diagnoses for lung and breast cancer – getting patients onto their treatment pathways sooner than would otherwise happen – and introducing virtual reality therapy to give patients receiving chemotherapy a better experience during their treatment.”

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