Doctors forge agreement to support medical charity and African hospitals

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has forged an agreement to collect medical equipment used in the treatment of kidney stones and donate it to an international charity for use in Africa.

Consultant Radiologist Harry Bardgett, and James Forster, Consultant Urological Surgeon, are using their own free time to support the Eastbourne-based Medi Tech Trust (MTT).

Working with staff from the charity, Dr Bardgett and Dr Forster have arranged for used equipment that can no longer be used by our hospitals, including wires, catheters, endoscopic stone grabbing baskets and laser fibres, to be saline cleaned at the Trust and collected in dedicated sharps bins ready for collection by MTT.

On reaching the charity, which holds a waste carrier registration certificate, the equipment is chemically sterilised before being sent out to kidney stone treatment centres in Africa.

Dr Bardgett said: “A lot of large kidney stones in the developing world are treated with open surgery.

“Current practice in the UK, however, is to treat them with percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL), where a tube the size of your index finger is inserted through the skin of the flank and stones are removed with a mechanical shock probe, forceps and a rigid camera.

“This is much better for the patient and their kidney, can be repeated and does not lead to long-term kidney damage which open surgery can cause.”

MTT supports numerous clinical sites throughout the world, including centres in Sri Lanka, Senegal, The Gambia, Benin, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Zambia and Zimbabwe to develop minimal access renal stone treatment.

Over a series of week-long visits MTT representatives help each unit become independent in up-to-date stone treatment. MTT sites in Sri Lanka and Senegal have also gone on to become training centres.

Dr Bardgett added: “The charity is very active. The next project will be in Zambia and I will be going to Accra, the capital of Ghana, in December to teach.

Teaching centre

“The idea is that after three visits from the charity a centre becomes independent and although it may get support in the form of equipment, it no longer needs human support and hopefully goes on to become a teaching centre.”

Dr Bardgett visited Sri Lanka in 2017 and Benin late last year with MTT to teach local medical staff kidney stone procedures.

MTT’s link with Bradford was forged by Dr Forster who, when a registrar, raised funds for their work and travelled to Sri Lanka to carry out kidney stone operations.

The charity was founded in 2002 by philanthropic businessman Bob Lewis and Consultant Urologist Graham Watson.

Mr Lewis said: “We are extremely pleased and grateful that Bradford has joined the growing number of forward-thinking NHS Trusts willing to make the effort to recycle their used equipment for the benefit of patients in low- income countries.

“Over the past two years, we have given thousands of re-usable items to African hospitals so that their surgeons have the instruments to carry out more operations.

“Our aim is to help as many hospitals in low-income countries as possible and as quickly as we can, because the list of those urgently needing re-usable items is infinitely long.”

MTT is dedicated to the promotion of urological surgery and the donation of medical equipment in the UK and developing world. For more info on their work, see



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Note to Editors:

  1. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for providing hospital services for the people of Bradford and communities across Yorkshire. We serve a core population of around 500,000 and provide specialist services for 1.1 million people.

Our 5,500 staff work over several sites, including Bradford Royal Infirmary, which provides the majority of inpatient services, and St Luke’s Hospital, which predominantly provides outpatient and rehabilitation services. We also manage local community hospitals at Westwood Park, Westbourne Green, and Eccleshill.

In early 2017, a new £28 million wing opened at Bradford Royal Infirmary, part of a £75m investment to improve patient care across our hospitals over a five-year period. It provides world-class facilities for elderly care, children’s services, a state-of-the-art intensive care unit with increased single-room provision and a retail concourse.

The new wing is a continuation of our work to improve patient experience after our new £2 million neonatal unit officially opened in January 2015. Our maternity services were recently shortlisted for the Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) Midwifery Service of the Year Award, recognising excellence and innovation in the provision of maternity care.

In 2017, we also completed a £2m refurbishment of our Emergency Department (ED) as part of an ambitious vision to create a more efficient acute medicine service for the people of Bradford. It has been designed to provide a slicker and more efficient service, with faster senior clinical involvement at an early stage in the patient pathway.

As a teaching hospital, we are at the forefront of education and development in healthcare, and have an excellent reputation for research performance. We are one of the leading centres in conducting applied research in the country, particularly in quality and safety, elderly care and rehabilitation.

The Trust is home to the Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR) where researchers have led the development, validation and implementation of the award-winning Bradford Electronic Frailty Index (eFI) which helps calculate an elderly person’s risk of disability, impairment, falls and complications of chronic diseases, as well as their diminishing independence and capability. This is now being used by 98% of all GPs across the country.

Our award-winning Ophthalmology department is home to numerous worldwide clinical trials taking the lead in eye care research and we are one of only three sites in the United Kingdom to be enlisted in the Perioperative Enhanced Recovery Hip Fracture Care of Patients with Dementia (PERFECTED) study, which will investigate how the NHS can introduce better standards of care to improve outcomes for people with dementia.

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The Trust has its own Bradford Hospitals Charity: