A GENEROUS donation from a Bishopsteignton couple, inspired by rock star Rod Stewart, meant Torbay Hospital was able to carry out an additional 60 endoscopy tests. 

Sixty people, who were waiting for diagnostic tests, were seen over one weekend, thanks to the ‘significant gift’ given to Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust. 

For the patients, whose tests could have potentially indicate gastro-intestinal cancer, the donation meant a reduced waiting time and faster diagnosis. 

For people undergoing medical investigations such as diagnostic endoscopy, a faster diagnosis leads to quicker treatment. 

Lord Julian and Lady Jan Darling, who live near Bishopsteignton, gave the donation to the Torbay and South Devon NHS Charity which funds initiatives and equipment to improve and enhance patient care locally.

Lord and Lady Darling were inspired to give after seeing singer Rod Stewart generously fund MRI scans in an effort to reduce down waiting times. 

Their donation was enough to fund two full days of running the endoscopy unit.

Lord Darling explained: ‘Recently, we were so impressed with the same-day treatment we received at Torbay Hospital, and inspired by a press article about Rod Stewart’s pledge to fund a day’s worth of scans at his local Essex hospital, we felt compelled to match his offer at Torbay.

‘We are delighted that this clinic took place with NHS members of staff giving up their weekend to make this happen.’

Dr James Neale, consultant gastroenterologist, explained the impact of Lord Darling’s donation: ‘Rapid diagnosis of gastro-intestinal cancers are vital for improved outcomes. 

‘Lord Darling’s support will ensure the people who are classed as most urgently requiring investigation will be seen earlier. 

‘This will help to also bring down the wait time for those classed as less urgent cases.

‘I can’t overstate the potential impact of Lord Darling’s support; by enabling us to diagnose and treat patients sooner, this could make a significant difference to their outcome.’

Torbay Hospital’s endoscopy unit carries out a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures, for both outpatients and inpatients.

The hospital recently acquired a mobile endoscopy unit and this is also helping achieve faster diagnosis for lower and upper gastro-intestinal cancers.