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CCHF invests £52,000 in new equipment

Healthcare charity, the Cancer Care & Haematology Fund (CCHF) - which supports the work of NHS treatment facilities at Stoke Mandeville and Wycombe hospitals - has announced a major contribution towards new equipment for use by patients.

In consultation with Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, who run the treatment centres, the charity has committed £52,000 for the purchase of scalp coolers which are used by some patients to minimise hair loss during chemotherapy.

CCHF was set up in 1990 to raise funds to help patients diagnosed with cancer or blood disorders by funding the construction of a specialist unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, near Aylesbury. Today the charity continues to provide financial support for NHS treatment facilities at both Stoke Mandeville Hospital and the Sunrise Unit at Wycombe Hospital.

CCHF's Chair of Trustees, Dr Ann Watson, said this was a significant commitment by the charity: “We are delighted to have been able to provide the money for new scalp coolers. While they are not suitable for use by all patients undergoing chemotherapy, they provide an important option for many of those who are concerned about losing their hair. Our aim as a charity is to help the local NHS treatment facilities improve the experience of those who are undergoing what can be arduous treatment.”

The scalp coolers have been supplied by Huddersfield-based specialist company, Paxman, and represent latest technology.

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Stu Rowling, Head of UK Sales & Training at Paxman, said: “When faced with a cancer diagnosis and the prospect of chemotherapy, patients have many physical and psychological effects to deal with. To lose their hair is a major concern for many, often resulting in what feels like a loss of their identity.”

Stu adds: “Scalp cooling allows people to take some control of a side effect which would otherwise be inevitable in some treatments. Thanks to the fundraising efforts and generous donation from the Cancer Care & Haematology Fund people accessing treatment within the cancer and haematology units at Stoke Mandeville and Wycombe hospitals now have access to the latest generation of Paxman scalp cooling systems. We know how much it means to patients to have the option to keep their hair and CCHF have made this a possibility for cancer patients in the area.”

Michelle Pearsall, Macmillan Matron for Oncology and Haematology, at the Cancer Care and Haematology Unit, explained: “We're delighted to have received the new scalp coolers – two for the Stoke Mandeville unit and two for the Sunrise Unit at Wycombe Hospital, and training on how to use them has been completed. I'm sure they will be welcomed by many patients during their treatment.”

The Cancer Care and Haematology Fund is a charity set up to help those with cancer and haematology based diseases in Buckinghamshire. Through public fundraising a specialist unit – the CCHU - was built and opened in January 2001 at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. The charity continues to provide financial support for projects which benefit patients cared for at the CCHU, the Sunrise Unit in Wycombe and in community settings across Buckinghamshire and neighbouring counties.

Cash is raised by donations from a generous public and the charity is managed by a team of trustees and volunteers who give their time for free so that as much money as possible benefits the support and comfort of patients.