THE man behind some of the world’s best-known musicals has given his support to the work of a Hampshire charity.

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and wife Madeline have joined the Hampshire Medical Fund as joint patrons.

The charity buys the latest equipment for use across Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, including Royal County Hampshire Hospital in Winchester.

Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber took time out of their busy schedules to visit Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, seeing first-hand the difference the charity is making.

Emergency medicine consultant, Dr James Kerr, showcased new clinical education technology at the hospital, which simulates real-life scenarios to train staff in the emergency departments.

Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber also spoke to Mr Richard Hindley, consultant urologist, about the latest technology being used at Hampshire Hospitals to treat men with prostate issues, with the help of the fund. Mr Hindley presented Rezum, a pioneering treatment first trialled at Basingstoke hospital that helps men suffering with enlarged prostates, and the high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) technique, which removes prostate tissue.

After speaking with some of clinicians who have benefitted from equipment bought by the charity, Andrew and Madeleine remarked: “We are honoured and delighted to become patrons of the Hampshire Medical Fund.

“By funding equipment that would not currently be available through normal NHS budgets, the Hampshire Medical Fund allows staff at the hospitals to provide the latest treatments for their patients. It also helps to ensure that the best staff stay in Hampshire.

“The charity was started by our friend and neighbour Henry Carnarvon in 1981 in order to help his local hospital. Following his death, his wife Jeannie became patron and it is from her we take on the exciting role of joint patrons. We share Henry and Jeannie’s vision that support for our hospitals plays a vital role in helping them to better serve our community.

“We have enjoyed meeting some of the teams involved and hearing how equipment supplied by the charity is being used to help patients across Hampshire.”

The Lloyd Webbers were joined on their tour of Basingstoke hospital by Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals, and charity Trustee and consultant cardiologist, Dr Andrew Bishop.

Dr Bishop said: “We are thrilled to have Madeleine and Andrew’s support at this busy time for the fund, which has recently expanded to cover all three of the hospitals run by the Trust.

“It’s been a fantastic day showcasing just some of the incredible work that goes on in our hospitals every day to care for our patients, in part thanks to the generosity of local fundraisers and the support of the Hampshire Medical Fund. We are looking forward to working together.”