MPs and health professionals have hailed Royal Blackburn Hospital’s new £1.3million Da Vinci robot as ‘an excellent investment’ for Lancashire and beyond.

The machine is currently used to treat prostate cancer patients at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust but plans for robotic surgeons - Mohan Pillai and Mohammad Masaarane - to train other surgeons are high on the agenda.

The urology department commissioned the installation of the ‘Da Vinci Robot’ to carry out removals of the prostate gland.

The technology enables doctors to go ‘way beyond keyhole surgery’ and leads to far quicker recovery times for patients.

The robot is a first for the trust and the only Da Vinci robot used for urological surgery in Lancashire.

Hyndburn and Haslingden MP Graham Jones said: “I think it is fascinating and I am really pleased that we have the best available technology.

“I will be in touch with the Tory secretary of state to ask why it has taken so long to get this in Blackburn. London has had advanced technology like this for a good number of years.”

Blackburn MP Kate Hollern said: “I think it’s fantastic the investment was a no brainer we will make sure it is fully utilised across Lancashire.”

East Lancashire Hospitals Trust Chief Executive Kevin McGee said: “This is a piece of kit that has never been invested in anywhere else in Lancashire.

“We have to invest in machinery like this to give people the services that are the state of the art giving the best care possible.”

Surgeon Mohammed Masaarane said: “Urology has been the leading force behind this machine but it is the future.

“Other surgeons will take it on board and patients will receive gold standard care.”