Surgeon swims to advance surgery in Cornwall

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A pod of 35, and growing, swimmers will take to the sea off Rosemullion Head, Falmouth in July to complete a challenging 5 km sea swim ending at Pendennis Head. Participants of ‘5k Across the Bay’ will be raising funds and awareness to bring new robotic technology to patient undergoing surgery in Cornwall.

Image depicting swimmers preparing to enter the ocean for charity swim

Consultant Surgeon and Lead for Bowel Cancer at Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, Nick Battersby, is spear-heading the event and campaign,

“The Royal Cornwall NHS Trust (RCHT) is the only hospital to provide emergency and planned major surgery for the whole of Cornwall. We are determined to give Cornish patients the best care, in Cornwall, without the need to travel out of county where possible.

We have been at the leading edge of surgical treatments and are renowned for early adoption of minimally invasive surgery (small incisions made using miniaturised surgical instruments).

A robot would provide the next step in modern surgical care for patients at RCHT. It is exciting using this new technology. It attracts dynamic surgical and nursing staff, which ensures the RCHT Surgical Departments offer the people in Cornwall the best available care,” said Mr Battersby.

Image depicting a surgeon engaging in a surgical procedure with a robot.

The event which is being run in a partnership between SureSwim Kernow and Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity, will see the surgeon and fellow experienced swimmers from the region take to the sea at around 4pm on the 8th July before taking the route around Maenporth, Swanpool and Gyllyngvase Beach and then across the bay to the finish line at Silver Steps on Pendennis Head,

“Nick has been swimming with SureSwim Kernow for just over a year now and starting as a novice, has made the most incredible progress in such a short time. Witnessing his dedication, determination and enthusiasm for his clinical work, I was only too happy to get involved and suggest this 5k swim route as a fundraiser for such an important cause.

Coming from a safety background and with substantial swim event experience, it is the least I can do to offer my help to Nick and his team to raise awareness and funds for equipment that could be game changing for our Cornish community,” said Clare.

“The cause and event have really captured the interest of the local community. There is a sense of real admiration for what the pod of swimmers will be tackling and the importance of the robotic provision for the people of Cornwall has really hit home,” said Karen Murrish, Fundraising Manager for Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity. 

“Many of the swimmers are also Trust employees and we cannot thank them enough for finding the time to devote to this challenge alongside their clinical roles. The local community is also rallying to support their momentous effort. Harbour Lights fish and chips in Falmouth, have kindly offered to feed our swimmers after the event which we are sure will be very welcome after such a tough event!” Karen added. 

Anyone interested in supporting 5k Across the Bay is asked to contact Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity, or telephone 01872 252858.

Donations can be made online

Find out more about the challenge here Robotic surgery: Cornwall surgeon to raise money towards new technology – BBC News

James Churchfield – RCHT surgeon fundraising £50k for new robotic aid – BBC Sounds

For further information on the 5k Across the Bay charity swim, please contact the RCHT Charity Team: or telephone 01872 252858

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