A NEW piece of equipment, which will help better diagnose lung cancer, has arrived at Southmead Hospital.

The endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) will make some forms of lung cancer much easier to diagnose and stage and reduce the need for more invasive diagnostic and staging tests for patients.

The £140,000 piece of equipment has been paid for by the North Bristol NHS Trust's charity Shine Together and is the charity’s first major purchase since being launched earlier this year.

Trevor Reid, from Shine Together, said: "This is our first significant purchase of equipment since Shine Together was launched in April and it is thanks to the support of many local people that we are able to make this donation.

"We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped us this year and made a real difference to the care we provide."

Every year around 250 patients receive care for lung cancer at Southmead and Frenchay hospitals.

Dr Andrew Medford, consultant chest physician at North Bristol Lung Centre at Southmead, said the trust was grateful for the money to purchase the EBUS.

He said: "We are incredibly grateful to Shine Together for purchasing this fantastic piece of equipment for the North Bristol Lung Centre."

Dr Medford said many lung cancers were not visible in the airway using a standard bronchoscope, a small flexible camera inserted via the nose or mouth.

Patients often need to be put under general anaesthetic so a tissue sample can be taken but with the new EBUS, sampling for lymph nodes can be done under conscious sedation and local anaesthetic.

Dr Medford said: "EBUS is a significant technological advance to the current and well established flexible bronchoscopy service offered at North Bristol NHS Trust."