The Friends of Airedale have spent more than £40,000 on equipment to move patients more easily.

Most of the money has gone towards buying two heavy-duty wheelchairs.

Chairman Eileen Proud said: “These motorised chairs are capable of transporting patients up to 40 stone, helping to safeguard volunteers and staff from injury during movement.

“We have been training the porters and volunteers how to operate them and we have also had a purpose-built storeroom constructed to protect them and keep the batteries charged.”

The Friends have also bought a new hoist which will safely handle patients up to 70 stone and a pair of leg supports, which allow patients up to a weight of 57 stone to be manoeuvred and positioned during certain operations.

Julie Livesey, general manager for the surgical group and lead cancer manager at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The new leg supports will allow the surgeon and other theatre staff to safely and easily move patients into the required position for their procedure.”