BREAST cancer patients in the Evesham area are benefitting from a new piece of equipment that will cut waiting times and allow them to be treated closer to home.

The new £3,000 scanner at Evesham Community Hospital was bought by the friends of the hospital, allowing consultant breast surgeon Steven Thrush to carry out scanning on site.

Previously patients had to wait for a screening appointment at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, not only having to travel but also potentially facing a long wait for the next stage of their diagnosis.

Mr Thrush said the new piece of equipment would make a real difference to patients.

"It will hopefully help to provide a quicker diagnosis and speed the process up considerably which can only be a positive thing,” he said.

Chairman of the Friends of Evesham Community Hospital Frances Smith said she was delighted the organisation was able to buy the new scanner.

"The more services we can provide at Evesham can only be of long-term benefit not only to patients but to the acute hospital and the NHS economy in general," she said.

"This is a great example of providing care closer to home which is what we are all striving towards.”