Speaker of the House of Commons praises “outstanding” Milton Keynes charity

Speaker John Bercow applauds "outstanding" Milton Keynes charity Medical Detection Dogs.
Speaker John Bercow applauds "outstanding" Milton Keynes charity Medical Detection Dogs.

The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, has passionately praised Milton Keynes charity, Medical Detection Dogs.

Mr Bercow visited the Medical Detection Dogs centre on Friday and commended its work on cancer detection.

He said: “I found the work of Medical Detection Dogs absolutely outstanding.

“The charity is working on robust scientific studies into the early detection of breast and prostate cancer, which is most exciting and innovative.

“This represents scope for the future to improve the early diagnosis of cancer.”

The charity, which is based in Great Horwood, is the lead research organisation investigating the ability of dogs to detect the odour of “volatile substances”.

Started in 2008 by Dr Claire Guest, the charity has trained dogs to screen thousands of urine samples collected from volunteers.

Dr Claire Guest’s own dog Daisy was awarded a Blue Cross medal in November for her work having sniffed over 6,500 training and test samples with a detection reliability of over 90 per cent.

Dr Guest said: “I am very grateful to Mr Bercow to coming to see us at the centre and for understanding the importance of our work.

“Early cancer diagnosis is particularly poor in the UK. Statistics released last week show that 25 per cent of cancer diagnoses are made too late.

“This situation needs urgently to be addressed to reduce the 160,000 deaths a year caused by cancer. The earlier we can diagnose cancer, the better chance patients have of defeating it in time.

“Our aim at Medical Detection Dogs is to expand our operation to the extent that we can provide reliable, non-invasive secondary screening to people throughout the country.”