Pluto arrives at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

The Children's Hospital Trust Fund has raised enough money to purchase Pluto! The robot has been now been donated to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, which sees 85,000 babies and children from all over South East England through its doors every year.  But, the fund-raising isn't over yet - a further £400,000 is needed to buy vital equipment.

Babies and children at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital will benefit from having the most advanced surgical technique in the world - the da Vinci robotic system. The da Vinci robot will allow surgeons at the hospital to perform intricate surgery on babies and children with greater precision, quicker recovery times and smaller scars. Robotic surgery is much less invasive than traditional surgery and also achieves quicker patient recovery and shorter hospital stays for patients.

Mr Munther Haddad, Chair of The Children's Hospital Trust Fund and Senior Consultant Paediatric Surgeon at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital said: "We are delighted to be bringing this cutting-edge technology to children in the South of England.  The benefits of having surgery performed using the da Vinci robot for our young patients will be immense. Buying the robot is the first step as we still need to buy additional equipment. The charity will continue to raise money; donations can be made here

Tony Bell, Chief Executive of Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are honoured to be the only hospital in the UK to be able to perform robotic surgery with equipment tailored to the unique health needs of babies and children. On behalf of the 85,000 children we see each year I'd like to thank The Children's Hospital Trust Fund for their tireless fundraising work that has made this happen."

"The robot is one of the major investments being made to our children's service which includes Chelsea Children's Hospital. We look forward to providing our patients with the most advanced surgical care, which we believe will improve their results and give families a better hospital experience. We are looking to develop our training and research endeavours relating to children's robotic surgery and hope to share our experience with clinical colleagues in the future."

Rebecca McLoughlin of The Children's Hospital Trust Fund said: "We are really proud to be part of such an historic event for London and of the role we have played in enabling Chelsea and Westminster Hospital to become the first centre in the UK to offer robotically-assisted surgery exclusively for babies and children. We are extremely grateful to all our donors who have done so much to make this become a reality."