PATIENTS at Poole Hospital are already benefitting from two state-of-the-art pieces of equipment bought with donations from a charitable foundation.

The Fletcher Foundation was established to support prostate and breast cancer services throughout south Dorset.

Now it's given £10,000 for a lateral arm for the Dorset Breast Screening Unit, and its also giving support to the Dorset Cancer Centre's low dose-rate brachytherapy.

The lateral arm allows practitioners to perform difficult to reach biopsies which would previously have proven impossible.

And permanent seed brachytherapy, also known as low dose-rate brachytherapy, is a type of radiotherapy where tiny radioactive ‘seeds’ are placed into the prostate. Each radioactive ‘seed’ is the size and shape of a grain of rice, and stay in the prostate, giving a steady dose of radiation over a few months, destroying cancer cells.

Breast imaging manager for the Dorset breast screening service, Mel Huish, said: “The contribution by the Fletcher Foundation is already improving the lives of patients.

“If a lesion is in an awkward position then biopsies cannot be performed confidently - the arm has been vital in ensuring these women can undergo their biopsy in a timely way, reducing stress and anxiety, allowing us to reassure them or plan their treatment much sooner."

Tony Brown, the foundation’s treasurer, said he was delighted the organisation has been able to continue to support the hospital.

“The arm will help to generate a 3D image which makes it much easier to view breast tissue clearly and quickly identify any areas of concern. It’s fantastic to know that several women have already benefited from this technology.”

The Fletcher Foundation is supported by local community groups and businesses including Wimborne & Ferndown Lions and Barclays Bank.