THE widow of football icon Sir Bobby Robson officially opened a revamped breast imaging unit at West Suffolk Hospital.
Lady Elsie Robson unveiled the department following a £1.2 million project by the hospital foundation trust to replace two analogue mammography machines with digital equipment.
A third imaging room has also been created to allow the hospital to increase capacity after the government extended the screening range from within three years of a woman’s 50th birthday to within three years of her 47th.
Sir Bobby launched the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation cancer charity in 2008 – a year before he died after a battle with the disease.
Lady Elsie said: “Suffolk is close to my heart.
“We lived here for 20 years and it was always a pleasure. It is always a pleasure to come back.
“I’m particularly proud to be opening a new facility which provides a screening service for local women for breast cancer.
“Cancer can be a devastating illness but it has also shown me a very positive side of human nature.
“You can see positivity in the generous support for our cancer charity, particularly from people of Suffolk and the north east.
“You can see it in the care given to cancer patients within our wonderful National Health Service and by the love and consideration shown by family and friends during difficult times.”
The hospital has also taken delivery of a new mobile breast screening unit to provide an imaging service within the community.
Ann Hills, superintendent radiographer in the breast imaging department, added: “We were delighted that Lady Elsie agreed to come to West Suffolk Hospital and officially open the new digital unit
“The state-of-the-art technology is helping us provide an even better service for our patients by allowing us to produce high quality images quickly and efficiently.
“We are really pleased with the new machinery, which represents a significant investment and will continue to bring benefits long into the future.”
As well as providing better quality images, the new system will also reduce the number of women who need to be called back if there are technical problems with the image.
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which is in its fourth year, focuses on the early detection and treatment of cancer and the clinical trials of new drugs that will eventually beat it.