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‘Robbie rebooted' appeal

robbieThanks to your support we have raised the £1 million to help us to keep ‘Robbie’ working.


‘Robbie’, the da Vinci robot, has transformed prostate cancer operations at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

The robot provides the latest in state of the art robotic assisted surgery: this allows surgeons to perform radical prostate operations using all the clinical and technical capabilities of traditional open surgery, whilst enabling them to operate through the tiny incisions which characterise ‘keyhole’ surgery.

The Royal Berkshire NHS Trust acquired the da Vinci robot with a down payment from a very generous donation. To complete the purchase and own ‘Robbie’ outright we have raised £1m over three years.

The campaign has been extensively supported by the Reading Post (Getreading).

'Robbie Rebooted'

However, that's not the end of the story - we still need to continue fundraising efforts so that more surgical teams can be trained in robotic surgery. The 'Robbie Rebooted' appeal aims to do just that by providing training. Please continue to support the work of 'Robbie' so that as many patients as possible can benefit from the latest surgical techniques. 


For patients robot surgery brings a number of benefits which contribute to a quicker return to normal life. These include:

  • significantly less pain
  • less risk of wound infection
  • reduced scarring
  • faster recovery times
  • less blood loss and lower requirements for transfusion.

The da Vinci robot uses four interactive robotic arms to carry out the surgery. At all times the surgeon is in complete control: his or her hand movements are scaled, filtered and seamlessly translated into precise real-time movements. The 3D view and magnification allow intricate dissection and complex reconstruction that would be difficult with conventional keyhole surgery.

Surgeon, Lt. Col. Zaheer Shah said “The robot offers a less painful procedure with a quicker recovery time and fewer side effects and has so far proven to be equally effective as open surgery for dealing with cancer, as well as being less likely to cause impotence or incontinence. It is extremely rewarding to be able to offer the best possible treatment at the lowest possible risk with the quickest recovery to all of my patients throughout the country as ‘Robbie’ is available to all patients in England”.

His colleague, Surgeon Adam Jones, enthused: “The da Vinci robot has allowed us to offer the benefits of keyhole surgery to a much larger group of patients. In conjunction with our brachytherapy (radiotherapy) programme, it gives our patients the widest choice in state of the art prostate cancer treatments.”

Speed of recovery

Talking about the benefits to patients Peter Boltwood said: “I have been amazed at the speed of my recovery: within an hour I was sharing my experience with BBC South Today, two days later I was back at home. Life is now back to normal. I am working and playing golf and the scars have all but disappeared. I would have no hesitation in recommending this surgery to other men faced with the same decision.”



The Royal Berks Charity
Level 3 West 4
West Drive
London Road

0118 322 6969