Ashley Charitable Trust


The Ashley Charitable Trust is delighted to fund OCCTOPUS' Robotic Research Project – The OCCTOPUS and Red Trousers Robotic Colorectal Surgery Registry.

Neil Ashley has a close association with Oxford Colon Cancer Trust (OCCTOPUS) and was a founder trustee and chairman from 2004 to 2017.

OCCTOPUS funds technical advances developed by the colorectal surgery team at the Oxford University Hospitals for treatment, education, and research into colorectal cancer, colitis, Crohn's and continence.

OCCTOPUS aims to create an international Robotic Registry to determine whether robotic-assisted colorectal surgery will improve patient outcomes and reduce complications.

Early randomised control trials have demonstrated that robotic-assisted surgery provides enhanced benefits when compared to open surgery.

However, the clinical benefit of robotic versus laparoscopic colorectal surgery remains unclear. There is a pressing need to set up a collaborative network to compile national outcome data, pool experience, monitor safety, and improve the training of robotic colorectal surgery.

The Robotic Surgery Research Project will capture comprehensive data from every robotic colorectal case performed in the UK and Ireland. This study will be funded by OCCTOPUS and the Red Trouser charities, and led by Professor Paris Tekkis, Professor of Colorectal Surgery, Royal Marsden Hospital.

The project will generate high quality data and world class research, which will be the springboard to future work to ultimately help surgeons and patients select the most appropriate surgical technique for them, to achieve the best possible outcomes.

The goal is to create a robotic-assisted colorectal surgery registry that:

  • Defines the role of colorectal robotic surgery in current day colorectal cancer practice
  • Provides a comprehensive evidence base in this emerging field
  • Appreciates the strengths and weaknesses of robotic-assisted surgery in comparison with conventional laparoscopic or open surgery
  • Understands the benefits and rationale of offering a robotic colorectal service
  • Serves as a resource and feedback to participating institutions for patient safety, surgeon self-assessment and self-improvement
  • Shares best practice on setting up a robotic surgery programme and shares data globally to inform public health programmes for colorectal surgery in the UK and worldwide.