Colin Parris had kindly agreed to fund training for Curtis Phelan, currently an Operating Department Practitioner, to work as a Patient Bedside Assistant for robotic urology surgery.
This is a very specialist role and once qualified, Curtis will become only one of 12 people in the country able to perform these duties – three of whom are employed by EKHUFT. He will work alongside Urology Consultants Ben Eddy, Edward Streeter and Bill Choi while they perform robotic surgery on over 200 prostate cancer patients a year.
Curtis said: “It is brilliant for the department as it means we will be able to carry out more operations. It is also fantastic for my career and I am very grateful for the opportunity.” The Patient Bedside Assistant carries out vital tasks to enable the robot to perform, such as changing and checking the instruments on its ‘arms.’
Mr Parris was delighted with the care he received from Mr Eddy and the team on Clarke Ward and was inspired to support their cause for enhancing the care available.
He said: “I had the most fantastic treatment. The team were brilliant. This is our way of saying thank you. Staff training is essential if you want things to progress and if you have the people who want to do it.”
Curtis will begin his one-year training programme in September. Mr Eddy said: “We are always looking for ways in which we can advance the treatment and care we can give to patients. Having an additional, skilled practitioner will increase our capacity for robotic surgery and push the Trust even further ahead of others in its use.”