FUNDS raised by Hampshire festival have helped a fund to purchase a revolutionary breast cancer machine for Winchester hospital.

Money gathered by the Hampshire Country & Garden Festival, which was held at Bere Mill in June, enabled the Hampshire Medical Fund to purchase a Sysmex Sentimag Monitor that will hugely improve a breast cancer patient’s experience of surgery.

The monitor was presented to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital (RHCH) by representatives of the event and its sponsor JM Finn Investment and Wealth Management, who recently opened a Winchester office, together with the Hampshire Medical Fund.

The festival committee chose to raise money to purchase a Sysmex Sentimag monitor. Due to success of the event they raised £55,000 through sponsorships, donations and support.

This exceeded expectations and enabled two machines to be bought for hospitals in Winchester and Basingstoke, which are expected to benefit more than 200 patients a year at each location.

Siobhan Laws, consultant breast surgeon at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, said: "This machine is changing the lives of people with breast cancer. It means fewer appointments prior to surgery, which in turn helps with appointment scheduling and therefore reduces stress levels for both patients and surgeons and makes the operating theatres run more efficiently. "By having this piece of equipment in Winchester with the Magtrace facility, it means that patients no longer have to make trips to multiple hospitals at an already stressful time in their lives just prior to surgery."

The Sysmex Sentimag Monitor is an innovation for future breast surgery as it enables intra-operative detection tiny stainless steel grains called Magseeds which are inserted up to 30 days before surgery to help the surgeon locate the breast cancers to be surgically removed.

This makes a difference to the patient’s experience as previously they would have had to have a wire fitted which delayed surgery. This will also mean improved efficiency in theatre timetabling.

Another use of this machine is a Magtrace in which a tiny iron filings are injected into a patient up to seven days prior to surgery, to identify whether or not the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and if so how far, which will help inform the decision on how to treat the cancer.

Holly Kingsford, committee member for the Hampshire Country and Garden Festival, said: "We’re delighted that money raised by our show is being put to such a good use by the breast cancer teams at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital and Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital.

"We’re very thankful to JM Finn, for being our gold sponsor for the last two years, as through their very generous sponsorship we have been able to grow the event.

"We had a fantastic show this year with just under 4,000 people enjoying the entertainment, demonstrations and workshops, gift and garden stalls and delicious food and drink.

"We are already planning next year’s event, which will be held on Sunday, June 14, 2020, where we hope to be able raise money to buy more equipment for the Hampshire Medical Fund.’

For information on next Hampshire Country and Garden Festival, visit