HOSPICE staff have thanked a North-East building society for a donation that has been used to buy a piece of equipment making a “huge difference” to the comfort of patients.

The £4,550 contribution from Darlington Building Society has enabled Teesside Hospice to buy a new bladder scanner to replace one that had become outdated.

And David Smith, chief executive of the Middlesbrough-based hospice, said: “We’re deeply grateful for this donation from Darlington Building Society, and know the equipment it has bought will make a difference for many years to come.

“Donations like these can have a huge impact on the comfort and wellbeing of people living with a terminal illness and especially so when they are staying with us on our inpatient unit.

“Being able to conduct scans in the hospice, rather than undertaking difficult and sometimes risky trips to hospital, provides our clinical team with the information they need to act swiftly. It also gives those we are caring for the reassurance and comfort of knowing their illness is well understood and being treated quickly.”

The donation is part of Darlington Building Society’s commitment to donate five per cent of its profits to good causes in the community.

Dr Rosie Finnegan, a physician at Teesside Hospice, said: “This donation will really help us to make quick decisions about the best way to treat patients in our care. It is a piece of equipment that is non-intrusive, and very frequently used, so it is really appreciated.”

Mandy Burns, a nurse practitioner at the hospice, added: “Having the new scanner is a massive boost for symptom management and comfort, and it means so much to get this kind of support from our community partners like Darlington Building Society. We can’t thank them enough.”

Andrew Craddock, chief executive of the Society, said: “We take great care in choosing the causes we support through our five per cent pledge, and it makes it all worthwhile to hear how much of a difference this donation is making to the comfort of patients at Teesside Hospice.

“The hospice staff do a job that is absolutely priceless, and we are delighted to be able to support them by covering the cost of this vital piece of equipment.”