Supportline Issue 47

Number 47 March 2011

Chairman’s Comments


Dear Supporter

26 years on and still making a difference Official opening of Superficial X-ray Unit.

Mayor of Bath and three others in business atire attend a ribbon cutting ceremony

The Mayor with Dr Mancero at the Offical opening of the treatment room

It was with great pleasure that I welcomed the Mayor of Bath, Councillor Shaun McGall, to the Cancer Unit on 8 December last to officially open, with Doctor Susana Mancero, a consultant based at the RUH, the newly refurbished treatment room containing a brand new Superficial X-ray machine.

Once it had become clear that it would no longer be possible to obtain a service contract for the old machine which was installed in 1990 and the fact that the RUH Trust had no funds either to finance a replacement machine or to refurbish the room in which the machine was located, BCUSG stepped in to ensure that patients would not have to travel to the closest facilities located outside Bath, namely either Taunton or Cheltenham for their treatment.

Although surgery and radiotherapy are equally effective for the treatment of skin cancers, radiotherapy is preferred for:

  • cancers from which the cosmetic • result from surgery is likely to be poor;
  • older patients;
  • patients on coagulants, and
  • cancers that have recurred post surgery.
New superficial X-ray machine

Superficial X-ray machine

One of the significant advantages of the new Superficial X-ray machine is that it is tailored to fit around the patient. This is particularly invaluable when dealing with elderly patients, for it enables a patient to be treated either sitting in their own wheelchair or hospital bed and it significantly reduces the time which patients spend in the treatment room. So far the oldest patient to be treated is 102!

Death of Tom Travers

It was with much sadness that I received a call from Tom’s daughter, Lorna who advised that after many years of battling liver cancer Tom had died. Tom had been a previous chairman of the Box Branch, a former Trustee of the Support Group and served as BCUSG Treasurer for two years from May 2005. For many years Tom had been involved with, The Box Fun Run and was very committed to the raising of funds for various charities, including BCUSG.

Many family and friends attended Tom’s funeral at St Thomas a’Becket church, Box on Saturday 26 February.

Tom will be greatly missed.

Is Issy our youngest ever one thousand pounder?

On page 6 you will find the remarkable story of Issy Coke, an 8 year old who raised over £1,000 by completing the Salisbury Plain Cycle Challenge, surely an inspiration to all.

For your continued support, I extend grateful thanks.

Grant Report for BCUSG

Hospital room with bed, two chairs and a cabinet

Previous Facilities

In June 2010, I applied to BCUSG to request funding to aid the refurbishment of a room in Urology Out-patients which had been allocated to the Uro-Oncology CNS’s. I am pleased to report that the bid was successful, and our department was awarded £4,500.

Myself and my colleague are responsible for breaking significant news to urological patients and their families. For the previous 6 years the consultations took place, mainly in the clinical room pictured below, which was a far from an ideal environment, but this was the only room available in the department.

Hospital room with sofa and arm chair and photograph in frame on wall


During the last year, Urology Outpatient’s underwent reorganisation and refurbishment of some areas. As a result office space became available, and was allocated to the CNS’s – but there was no funding within the urology budget available for the refurbishment, hense the bid to BCUSG.

On average, we see 15-20 patients per week for biopsy results, and further 10-20 patients for follow-up appointments.

We have had many positive comments from patients and their families about our new facilities. It is lovely to have a fresh and bright non-clinical environment to work from. We are very grateful to BCUSG for the financial assistance allocated to our department to allow this development which is enhancing the patient experience.