A HOSPITAL trust is to invest in a second robot to carry out surgery on cancer patients.

Da Vinci, the £1.3m robot, has been operating on patients at Royal Blackburn Hospital since 2017.

Now the trust is planning on installing a second robot at its Burnley General Hospital site in the ‘near future’.

Kevin McGee, chief executive of East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, said: “Ever since the trust first introduced robot-assisted surgery at the Royal Blackburn Hospital back in 2015, our robot has become more and more popular with surgeons, theatre staff and patients.

“We are confident of installing a new robot at our Burnley site in the very near future, and expanding to become recognised as a ‘Robotic Centre’.

“This will enable us to treat more people with different types of cancer, more effectively, with the best technology available."

The trust said it already has the largest and most comprehensive programme of robot-assisted surgery in the north west, with the region’s leading surgeons removing head and neck, urological and colorectal cancers at Royal Blackburn Hospital.

A second robot will mean surgeons will perform robot-assisted surgery for gynaecological and hepatobiliary cancers for the first time. They said the extra capacity will also allow the trust to perform more robot-assisted surgery to remove urology, colorectal and head/neck cancers.

Shahid Islam, the trust’s clinical director for surgery, said: “Traditional surgery is hugely invasive and takes a much longer amount of time, meaning an extended recovery period and substantial scarring for the patient.

“Minimal invasive surgery using the robot has a number of benefits, most importantly for the patient. They experience less pain, recover quicker, have less need for additional treatments or therapies and consequently leave hospital sooner.”

The new state-of-the-art Fairhurst Building will be the venue for the first ever visit of the robot to Burnley General Hospital.

The trust is inviting NHS patients, public and staff to meet surgeons and technical staff and see a demonstration at a drop in event tomorrow, between 10am and 3pm.