Hero volunteers come to rescue after Rugby hospital cancer screening crisis - The Rugby Observer

Hero volunteers come to rescue after Rugby hospital cancer screening crisis

VOLUNTEERS at Rugby’s hospital potentially saved lives when they came to the rescue after a vital piece of equipment broke down – leaving thousands at risk of missing a cancer diagnosis.
In February, St Cross Hospital’s hub of the national Bowel Cancer Screening Programme – one of only five in the country – faced a crisis when one of the machines which packs thousands of cancer test kits broke down, leaving doctors fearing they may not reach people at risk.
But 12 admirable volunteers from the Friends of St Cross rallied together and manually prepared more than 20,000 kits to keep the service up and running.
The volunteers all received a personal letter of thanks from the hospital’s group manager Juliet Starkey – and were shocked to hear their actions earned them a nomination for a University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire Trust Outstanding Service and Care Award.
Friends chairman Willy Goldschmidt said: “It was marvellous to hear of these nominations which added to the recognition that the trust has given to the work of the charity at the OSCA award ceremony in September.
“Volunteers are the mainstays of the charity, providing a variety of valued services throughout the hospital. We welcome applications to become a volunteer from all elements of the community. Information about voluntary roles can be found on our website www.fsx.org.uk.”
The national Bowel Cancer Screening Programme has only five hubs across the country, with the one at St Cross acting as the pilot.
The Rugby-based hub sends out more than 1,000,000 test kits every year to people in the Midlands and North West – of these approximately 650,000 are returned for examination. The tests help to identify signs of bowel cancer at an earlier stage when treatment is more likely to help.
Staff working at the hub also help to respond to more than 11,000 calls each month through their helpline, where they re-assure those worried about their hospital and clinic appointments.


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