Peterborough cancer patient heads to eBay to buy city’s hospital equipment for treatment at a fraction of cost

Stephen Brewer Pioneers the purchase and reuse of 2nd hand Triple Pumps in the NHS to save thousands per hospital. Stephen spent hours trawling through eBay to find replacement triple pumps at a fraction of what they cost new. Fletton / Woodston, Peterborough'04/07/2017. 'Picture by Terry Harris. THA
Stephen Brewer Pioneers the purchase and reuse of 2nd hand Triple Pumps in the NHS to save thousands per hospital. Stephen spent hours trawling through eBay to find replacement triple pumps at a fraction of what they cost new. Fletton / Woodston, Peterborough'04/07/2017. 'Picture by Terry Harris. THA
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A cancer sufferer has bought important medical equipment for Peterborough City Hospital on eBay - saving the hospital thousands.

Steve Brewer, 62, has bought seven triple pumps, which are used for chemotherapy, for the oncology unit at Peterborough City Hospital.

Stephen Brewer Pioneers the purchase and reuse of 2nd hand Triple Pumps in the NHS to save thousands per hospital. Stephen spent hours trawling through eBay to find replacement triple pumps at a fraction of what they cost new. Fletton / Woodston, Peterborough'04/07/2017. 'Picture by Terry Harris. THA

Stephen Brewer Pioneers the purchase and reuse of 2nd hand Triple Pumps in the NHS to save thousands per hospital. Stephen spent hours trawling through eBay to find replacement triple pumps at a fraction of what they cost new. Fletton / Woodston, Peterborough'04/07/2017. 'Picture by Terry Harris. THA

Steve discovered the Oncology Day Unit had just four of the £3,400 triple pump units, which make treatment quicker for both patients and nurses, but the unit didn’t have funds for new pumps. But amazingly when he searched eBay he discovered he could pick up the same model secondhand for just £175.

He has now persuaded pump manufacturers Baxter, with the help of Chemotherapy Nurse Practitioner Angelo Cuenca, to re-commission the pumps.

Steve, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in May 2014, said: “I had to use a triple pump at the hospital every couple of weeks for my chemotherapy and they are great as you can put two lines in at once which makes treatment much faster. When I was sitting having my treatment I noticed that there weren’t many triple pumps at the hospital so I decided to see if I could donate some. Amazingly, I quickly found one for sale on eBay from a medical supplier for just £175, and a senior nurse agreed they could use it.”

But, several months later Steve was told the hospital could not take secondhand equipment, even though the machine had come straight from another hospital and still had a five-year working life.

Stephen Brewer Pioneers the purchase and reuse of 2nd hand Triple Pumps in the NHS to save thousands per hostipital. Time saved on the triple pump means patients have longer to spend with their families when they most need it. Fletton / Woodston, Peterborough'04/07/2017. 'Picture by Terry Harris. THA

Stephen Brewer Pioneers the purchase and reuse of 2nd hand Triple Pumps in the NHS to save thousands per hostipital. Time saved on the triple pump means patients have longer to spend with their families when they most need it. Fletton / Woodston, Peterborough'04/07/2017. 'Picture by Terry Harris. THA

Steve, who is married with three children and two grandchildren, didn’t give up and Angelo Cuenca persuaded Baxter to get involved after getting the go-ahead from the hospital.

They agreed to re-commission the units free of charge and then lease them back to the hospital free of charge as long as they paid for a maintenance contract. Now Steve has bought a further six machines for £100 each.

He said: “It makes sense to recycle the machines and could save the NHS hundreds of thousands of pounds. I’m hoping the idea will catch on at other hospitals now.”

Linda Nkhata, Chemotherapy Day Unit Manager at Peterborough City Hospital thanked Baxter for their support and said: “We are incredibly grateful to Mr Brewer for his generous donation. The pumps cost £3,400 each to buy new, which would be a massive outlay for the Trust, however, to have seven of them donated has made such a difference to the patients receiving treatment in our hospital, and also to our staff. “