Breast unit gets new £32,000 scanner all thanks to its friends

left to right - Jonathan Nash, Angelique Beling, Dr Mike King, Gleni Harnett, John Moffett, Jan Spear with the new machine
left to right - Jonathan Nash, Angelique Beling, Dr Mike King, Gleni Harnett, John Moffett, Jan Spear with the new machine

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TAKING a breast biopsy in Portsmouth has been revolutionised, thanks to a new piece of equipment.

Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham has invested in the Bard Encore Enspire device.

At £32,000, the cost was covered by money raised from the League of Friends.

Instead of medical staff manually taking tissue samples, the machine does this automatically.

The hospital says it is a first for the south coast.

Dr Jonathan Nash, consultant radiologist at QA hospital, said: ‘The whole breast team is excited to have this new piece of equipment to use.

‘It will be used to develop our vacuum-assisted breast biopsy service at QA.

‘We want to say a huge thank you to the hospital’s League of Friends who donated £32,000 and made the purchase possible.’

A biopsy is a medical procedure that involves taking a small sample of tissue so that it can be examined under a microscope.

In this case an X-ray is taken, and if there needs to be further checks, a biopsy needs to be done.

This kit will enable the biopsy to be done quicker, and will be much more comfortable for patients.

Dr Nash added: ‘Previously, if a woman was suspected of having breast cancer, tissue samples had to be taken manually one-by-one if we needed X-ray guidance.

‘The new device will take samples automatically once it has been positioned using the X-rays.

‘The process will be quicker, give better samples and be more comfortable for the patient.’

The procedure means QA’s breast unit offers a better service to women.

The League of Friends, which is run by volunteers, has a coffee shop, and carries out various fundraisers throughout the year.

Each year thousands of pounds is raised, which is then used to buy or improve equipment and services.

Jan Spear, chairwoman of the League of Friends, said: ‘We were happy to help with the purchase of the machine.

‘This will take more accurate biopsies, therefore making the patients treatment less intrusive and more comfortable.’

The League constantly requires volunteers, especially as it wants to expand the services it gives to the hospital.

To find out more, or to join and become a volunteer, visit its shop in QA.

Or people can call the group on (023) 9228 6797, or email voluntary.services@porthosp.nhs.uk.