£250,000 appeal launched to keep 'life-changing' surgical robot in Sheffield

Sheffield consultant neurosurgeon Mr Dev Bhattacharyya with Westfield Health chairman Graham Moore
Sheffield consultant neurosurgeon Mr Dev Bhattacharyya with Westfield Health chairman Graham Moore
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A £250,000 appeal has been launched to secure the most advanced surgical robot of its kind for Sheffield hospitals’ brain centre.

The ROSA surgical assistant robot could transform the lives of thousands of people needing complex brain surgery.

The ROSA robot

The ROSA robot

Just like a GPS system, ROSA provides neurosurgeons with extraordinarily accurate 3D maps of the brain, allowing them to precisely and safely reach areas they could not reach before.

This offers real hope for people with poorly controlled epilepsy, deep-seated brain tumours, Parkinson’s Disease and other complex brain disorders.

Previously UK patients would have had to travel privately to London or abroad to have robotic neurosurgery but this now could be forever situated in Sheffield.

Sheffield charity Neurocare has worked with the manufacturer Zimmer Biomet Robotics to bring this state-of- the-art health technology to the Royal Hallamshire which is now the only NHS hospital in the UK to have a ROSA.

Sheffield consultant neurosurgeon Mr Dev Bhattacharyya

Sheffield consultant neurosurgeon Mr Dev Bhattacharyya

Sheffield consultant neurosurgeon Mr Dev Bhattacharyya said: “We are delighted to be the first NHS hospital in the UK to offer patients world-class robotic neurosurgery.

“I’ve been a neurosurgeon for 17 years and it is amazing to see how accurate the robot it is.

“The first operation I undertook took two-and- a-half hours compared to six, and through its pinpoint precision we are now able to reach areas of the brain we would previously not have been able to, which is fantastic news for patients.”

But to keep the ROSA in Sheffield, Neurocare needs to raise £250,000 in six months. The charity, which buys the latest equipment and supports groundbreaking neurological research at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has now launched a major fund raising appeal.

Neurocare Chair Beverley Webster said: “We are excited and very proud to be able to bring the first ROSA Robot to an NHS hospital in the UK.

“Because of its reputation as a neurological centre of excellence, Sheffield has attracted highly specialized neurosurgeons who, using this amazing technology, can change the lives of many more people.

“We now hope companies, organisations and individuals throughout the region will support us and them by donating what they can to the ROSA Appeal.”

The ROSA Robot Appeal got off to a great start this week with a £50,000 donation from Sheffield-based health insurer Westfield Health.

Chairman Graham Moore said: “We have been a long-standing supporter of Neurocare and the amazing work it does and we are delighted to be make this donation to help ensure that such pioneering treatment is available in Sheffield.”

Using an advanced computer system, ROSA allows neurosurgeons to create precise 3D maps of a patient’s brain so they can plan the best route for surgery, guiding the robot’s arm and instruments to the exact location of the seizure, tumour or biopsy.

ROSA’s pinpoint precision is said to be far less invasive and has the potential to reduce surgery times by as much as 40 per cent, greatly improving recovery and surgical outcomes. The robotic arm mimics the movement of the human arm and can use instruments as thin as a needle.

By the end of the year it is hoped that the ROSA will also be used in Sheffield for complex spinal surgery, significantly reducing the risks and complications for patients with a range of degenerative spine diseases, trauma, deformities and spinal tumours.

Mr Bhattacharyya added: “We are moving increasingly towards minimally invasive medical interventions.

"Robotics, GPS-like systems and error correction algorithms allow us to perform more complex procedures with less risk.

“Robotic surgery eliminates mechanistic errors and achieves sub-millimetre accuracy every time as well as taking a lot less time to perform the surgery.

“As a neurological centre of excellence, we pride ourselves on providing outstanding care to patients needing complex brain surgery, so this state-of- the-art robot helper will enable us to further develop our expertise and further improve surgical outcomes for patients.”

To find out more about the Appeal go to www.neurocare.org.uk. To donate please go Neurocare’s JustGiving page or you can make a text donation by texting ROSA16 and how much you want to donate to 70070.

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