playwright and broadcaster Alan Bennett has lent his distinctive voice to an information film aimed at cancer patients being treated at a leading Yorkshire hospital.
Staff at St James’s Hospital in Leeds wanted a friendly, reassuring and local voice for the video to help put patients who are due to undergo radiotherapy at their ease and decided to approach the playwright, who was born and raised in the city.
In the film, the writer, who has himself battled cancer, provides patients with a range of information about what to expect.
Cancer specialist Catherine Coyle, who is one of a number of “talking heads” in the film, said: “We were absolutely thrilled when he said yes and he was delightful when he came to the hospital to record his contribution.
“Radiotherapy is invaluable in the fight against cancer but understandably many of our patients are apprehensive about it and a little bit frightened and unsure what to expect.
“We wanted this video to give them an insight into what to expect and a preview of some of the key areas of the hospital they will see and some of the friendly faces who will help them on their journey.
“Patients from across Yorkshire are treated in our centre and many of them who come for the first time are surprised at how new and spacious the facilities are and the unrivalled range of equipment we have at our disposal.
“We hope this video will give them both the reassurance and information to make their treatment as comfortable and stress-free as possible.”
Filmed by the hospital’s medical illustration department, the video features actors playing the part of radiotherapy patients, with one undergoing a scan with staff positioning laser beams, which are used to ensure treatment is pinpointed accurately.
It also demonstrates how the scans are interpreted to plan the most appropriate treatment.