A FUNDRAISING appeal which has been launched to help a hospital buy new surgery equipment has passed the £1 million mark.

The Mid Essex Hospital Trust, which provides healthcare to thousands of people in the Braintree district, is now just £189,000 short of hitting its £1.5 million target.

The money will allow Broomfield Hospital to continue running what it calls its “world-class” robotic surgery facilities.

A Da Vinci robot is used to perform various operations at the hospital, such as fitting gastric pacemakers.

But health bosses want to buy a new, updated robot to boost care to patients.

The fundraising initiative is being run by the Mid Essex Hospital’s Charity, which held a special event to celebrate the work of the robotic surgeon.

Guests included patients who have already undergone surgery with the robot and were given a chance to get behind its controls in an effort to learn more about it.

Speaking after the event, surgeon Sri Kadirkamanathan said: “It was a wonderful night. It was lovely to see so many patients and donors. The patients are doing so well and are feeling the benefit of the robotic surgery.

“A lot of people raised money for us and they all could see how worthwhile their fundraising is.

“Many of them said to me that it was great to raise money for a local cause and then see where the money had been spent.

“Ultimately it’s all about the results and it’s so gratifying to see everyone doing so well. I’m humbled by everyone’s generosity.”

To donate, visit justgiving.com/midessexhospitals.