Steve Brewer Chemotherapy
Steve Brewer with the chemotherapy machine he bought. SWNS- Cambridge

A cancer patient bought his own chemotherapy machine off eBay for just £175 (€197), after NHS nurses told him the hospital couldn't afford to buy any more of the triple-pump machines needed to administer the drugs.

Steve Brewer, 62, has been battling bowel cancer since his diagnosis in 2014 and was told by Peterborough City Hospital that it didn't have the money to afford to equipment, which usually costs around £4,300.

"I was doing my first chemo and the nurse explained they didn't have enough pumps," he explained.

"I said 'I'll see if I can find one to donate'. I was looking around and one popped up on eBay for £175. The triple pumps can get the drugs into you much quicker. It cuts 30 to 40 minutes off each treatment.

"It literally gives you half an hour of your life back each time."

Brewer, a father of three and grandfather of two from Peterborough, goes to the hospital every other week to use the machine and since buying it has fundraised more than £900 to buy and donate six more pumps to the hospital.

Initially however, hospital staff said they wouldn't be able to use the secondhand machines, but Brewer and nurse Angelo Cuenca persuaded manufacturer Baxter to re-commission the machines for free.

This will allow hospitals to use the machines for another five years.

"We are incredibly grateful to Mr Brewer for his generous donation," said Linda Nkhata, chemotherapy day unit manager at Peterborough City Hospital.

"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."

Mr Brewer added: "There was a bit of red tape. It took a while but we persevered. They needed these machines and they knew what a difference this would make.

"There must be loads of these secondhand machines. They must go somewhere. It could save hospitals hundreds of thousands of pounds."