Leeds: Sir Jimmy Savile visits Jimmy’s

Sir Jimmy Savile and Dr Robin Prestwich with one of the scanners at the Bexley Wing at St James's Hospital. PIC: Mark Bickerdike
Sir Jimmy Savile and Dr Robin Prestwich with one of the scanners at the Bexley Wing at St James's Hospital. PIC: Mark Bickerdike
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Sir Jimmy Savile made a return visit to a Leeds cancer unit to see first hand how a generous £50,000 donation is being used.

He was checking on the progress of cancer research being carried out under the Savile Fellowship.

Sir Jimmy, 84, visited the Bexley Wing at St James’s Hospital to view the Leeds PET-CT – Positive Emission Tomography and Computerised Tomography centre.

The £4 million unit includes two CT scanners, devoted to research and the use of radiotherapy.

It is one of the largest cancer centres in Europe. At the opening of the unit a year ago, Sir Jimmy presented a personal donation of £50,000 to Leeds Teaching Hospitals.

He said yesterday: “This is a move forward in the curing and helping of people. I hope it makes a lot of people a lot happier and a lot safer.”

The money has been used to fund equipment and the wage of Dr Robin Prestwich, who was appointed to the inaugural Savile Fellowship in April.

Without Sir Jimmy’s personal financial support the trust says it would not have been able to start the ground-breaking research trials which offer the chance of improving cancer treatment for patients. Dr Prestwich said his work was helping to research how radiotherapy can best be used.

Sir Jimmy, is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists. His association with radiology, and with the Leeds hospitals, began when he became an honorary porter at Leeds hospitals in response to the “I’m backing Britain” campaign.

Since then he has raised in the region of £40m for charity, much of it used to purchase radiology equipment.

Dr Adrian Crellin, vice-president of the Royal College of Radiologists, said: “The College is committed to the strengthening of academic research. Money is in short supply at the moment, and that isn’t likely to change in the near future.”