A newly refurbished phototherapy suite has been officially opened at Ramsey District Cottage Hospital (RDCH).

The ‘Alden Suite’ has been named after supporters Jerry and Constance Alden, who donated their own money to the League of Friends of RDCH last year to enable the refurbishment of the suite.

The League of Friends of RDCH is an island registered charity which looks to raise funds for the hospital and its services.

The charity has raised £1.5 million since its inception.

The League of Friends has also funded the purchase of radios and iPads for Martin Ward patients to use, as well as an exercise bike for the physio team on the ward, this year.

Leonard Singer (chairman of the League of Friends of RDCH) and Dr Neill Hepburn (consultant dermatologist at Manx Care) opened the suite, and were joined by colleagues from Manx Care’s ‘skin service’ department based in Ramsey, members of the League of Friends, patients, service users and Manx Care’s chief executive, Teresa Cope.

During the opening ceremony. Mr Singer paid tribute to the League of Friends charity, which has supported the phototherapy service and continues to support the provision of patient care and facilities development at RDCH.

The phototherapy suite is led by Dr Hepburn and Helen Thompson, Manx Care’s dermatology clinical nurse specialist, while being supported by a number of registered nurses.

A spokesperson for Manx Care said: ‘All of the practitioners within the department have been fully trained in the delivery of phototherapy and the management of photosensitive dermatoses.

‘Phototherapy is widely recognised by the British Association of Dermatologists as a critical part of skin treatment provision.

‘In addition, it is NICE-approved (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) across the UK for patients with a variety of skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis and acne.

‘Phototherapy can be used as an effective treatment for nearly 20 different skin conditions, and can often reduce the need for patients to use expensive drugs as part of their treatment programme.’

A number of patients on the island have already begun their phototherapy treatment in the newly refurbished suite, with Manx Care stating that they have received ‘positive feedback for its excellent results’.

Manx Care’s consultant dermatologist, Dr Neill Hepburn, commented: ‘This service gives those individual living with inflammatory skin conditions the ability to live a normal life – it gives them their life back.

‘This incredibly generous donation from Jerry and Constance Alden will undoubtedly provide immeasurable benefit for years to come and I would like to thank them for their generosity.’