New machine will cut patient waiting times

New equipment: a state-of-the-art machine will detect whether lung cancer has spread. Hospital staff, from left: endoscopy sister Jane Kellett, clinical nurse specialist Alison Greenhowe, lung cancer lead Dr Alan Hart-Thomas, specialist nurse Christine Thomas and clinical lead for respiratory medicine Dr Annika Graham
New equipment: a state-of-the-art machine will detect whether lung cancer has spread. Hospital staff, from left: endoscopy sister Jane Kellett, clinical nurse specialist Alison Greenhowe, lung cancer lead Dr Alan Hart-Thomas, specialist nurse Christine Thomas and clinical lead for respiratory medicine Dr Annika Graham

PATIENTS in Calderdale can be treated with new state-of-the-art equipment that tests the spread of lung cancer.

The £160,000 endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) machine uses an ultrasound probe on thin telescope to look inside the chest cavity through the mouth. It locates lymph nodes and a needle can take a sample. If clear, the chances of a cure for the lung cancer are vastly improved.

Previously, patients had a three-day stay in Leeds for invasive chest surgery under general anaesthetic.

The EBUS machine has been isntalled at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and will help about 100 patients – rom Calderdale and Kirklees – each year.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended the technique be available in new guidance on lung cancer last year.

Dr Alan Hart-Thomas has headed the project to introduce the test to Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.

He said: “This is a great development for the trust as it will increase quality of care by delivering the service locally as a day case, and will help to keep waiting times down for cancer patients.

“The ability to provide care like this closer to home is important for our patients and their families.”