Royal Trinity Hospice clinical staff working on the inpatient unit (IPU) now have access to a brand new piece of equipment that will cut unforeseen and unnecessary hospital admissions for patients receiving palliative and end of life care. 

The new colour Doppler Ultrasound can be used to create high-quality images, enabling Trinity staff to quickly and accurately get to the root of symptoms patients may be experiencing.

The ultrasound is a compact, portable laptop which can check for issues such as effusions (build-ups of fluid), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), urinary retention and fluid build-ups in the abdomen, bringing faster pain relief to patients.

It is estimated that nearly a third of people admitted to a hospice with cancer reported experiencing DVT which causes swelling, affects mobility and can increase pain.* 

Typically, patients with these kinds of issues would need to go to hospital for an ultrasound, which requires additional travel, waiting time for results and cuts into time that could be spent with loved ones.

Anne Wheeler, Head of Inpatient Services at Royal Trinity Hospice welcomes the arrival of the new equipment, aiding Trinity’s ongoing mission to deliver excellence in end of life care:

“At Trinity, we are looking after people who have been living longer with their conditions and many of our patients have complex comorbidities. The new Doppler Ultrasound will be a valuable aid in making diagnoses without patients having to go to a hospital, allowing any reversible conditions to be assessed and dealt with much more quickly and helping to minimise any patient discomfort.”

Clinical staff have attended a training workshop to get to grips with the ultrasound machine which is now in use on the IPU.

Trinity staff practice capturing images of internal organs, during group training 

The ultrasound has been provided thanks to Trinity’s Fundraising team securing £10,000 in funding from multiple donors. 

The provision of the ultrasound has a further meaningful dimension, thanks to a £6,000 grant from the Simon Cooper Foundation. The foundation was set up in memory of a remarkable individual whose own health challenges included cystic fibrosis, multiple organ transplants and later cancer. 

Despite this, Simon’s perseverance, dedication and passion for fundraising saw him selflessly raise thousands for others before his own death at the age of just 33, with the foundation established later. Simon’s parents Angela and Paul Cooper said:

We are so pleased to know this piece of equipment will help the most vulnerable patients in the hospice. Simon was a keen fundraiser and would be happy that this ultrasound has been purchased in his memory.” 

Additional funding was granted by The Hospital Saturday Fund (£2,000) and a private individual donor. 

With the ultrasound now in situ on the IPU, hundreds of Trinity patients in years to come will benefit from rapid diagnosis, giving patients time to make the best of every moment, pain-free, in the company of those who care about them.

One special wheelie suitcase - our portable Doppler ultrasound can be easily moved around the IPU

Thanks to the Simon Cooper Foundation, The Hospital Saturday Fund and the third anonymous donor for making this happen for Royal Trinity Hospice patients. 

*Source: White C, Noble SIR, Watson M et al. Prevalence, symptom burden, and natural history of deep vein thrombosis in people with advanced cancer in specialist palliative care units (HIDDen): a prospective longitudinal observational study. Lancet Haematol. 2019 Feb;6(2):e79-e88