SOUTHEND Hospital has been given £20,000 to buy specialist equipment to help cancer patients.

The Christine Willett Trust is giving the cash to buy an anaesthetic machine and defibrillator for the brachytherapy suite, where cancer patients undergo radiation treatment.

The trust was set up in 1993 with an initial gift of £60,000 from Colin Willett after his wife,Christine,who died after a battle with breast cancer to buy equipment for the cancer departments in Essex hospitals.

Monica Gardner, the trust’s secretary, said: “Christine lived in Bulphan, but died in Southend Hospital. Her wish was for any money she had to go to help cure cancer. So far, £250,000 has been raised.”

Kayley Harvey, the hospital’s community fundraising manager, said: “It is thanks to the generous support of organisations such as this we are able to improve our facilities.