LIVERPOOL actor and The Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson has pledged his support to a new hospital charity campaign to bring robotic heart and chest surgery to the city. The campaign has been launched by Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital Charity to establish the UK’s first robotic heart and lung surgery programme. The new robotics programme will enable more patients requiring specialist cardiothoracic treatment to benefit from cutting edge surgery. Its new fundraising campaign “10,000 Tenners” will help towards the cost of the new £2 million surgical robot, enabling more patients requiring specialist cardiothoracic treatment to benefit from this state-of-the-art surgery. The new robot will also ensure even better treatment for patients, with reduced pain following surgery, quicker recoveries and faster return back home to loved ones and normal activities. Commenting on the ’10,000 Tenners’ campaign, Ricky said: “10 years ago I was told I needed major heart surgery and I discovered for myself just how fantastic Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital is. “It’s an outstanding hospital which treats thousands of heart and chest patients, just like me. They gave me a second chance and that’s why I’m supporting their ‘10,000 Tenners’ campaign to bring robotic surgery to Liverpool.” Mr Paul Modi, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon at the hospital, said: “The benefits of this new programme for our patients will be enormous. “Whilst we are already a leading centre for minimally invasive surgical procedures, we are at the absolute limit of the numbers that we can help this way with our existing equipment. “With a robotic surgery programme, we will be able to significantly increase the number of patients who can undergo minimally invasive surgery. Equally importantly, we will also be able to reduce their post-operative pain, lower their risk of infection, and ensure that their stay in hospital is considerably reduced, getting them back to their family and loved ones quicker, which is where they want to be.” He added: “The new programme will also enable us to operate on those who are currently considered inoperable because of their health, as there is far less trauma to the body operating through small incisions only a few millimetres in length, rather than the more traditional open surgery. “This is especially important as we live in an ageing society and more people are living with a number of health problems. Robotic surgery can make a huge difference to their lives.” Mr Mike Shackcloth, Consultant Thoracic Surgeon, added: “Our new robotic programme will not only allow us to provide even better care for our patients, but it will also enable us to develop a training and research programme that will ensure that we can attract the top trainees and consultants in the future. “Our team at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital have national and international reputations for outstanding care and treatment, and our new robotics programme will ensure we remain at the leading edge of advances in surgery.” To find out more about ’10,000 Tenners’ and the hospital’s campaign to bring robotic surgery to Liverpool, visit www.lhchcharity.org.uk or call the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital Charity office on 0151 600 1409 or Text ROBT01 £10 to 70070 to make a £10 donation.