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Our state-of-the-art Woolverstone Macmillan Cancer Centre celebrates its first birthday today, 16 May 2017.
Cancer centre celebrates first birthday
16 May 2017

Our state-of-the-art Woolverstone Macmillan Cancer Centre celebrates its first birthday today.

The £4.7m centre opened its doors on this day last year following a major project to extend and refurbish the existing Woolverstone Wing and bring all outpatient chemotherapy, oncology and haematology day services into one place. The work was carried out in partnership with the charity Macmillan Cancer Support.

Since then, the unit has had a significant impact on patients, who are now able to receive treatment in modern, bright and airy surroundings which offer the highest standards of privacy and dignity. The additional space also means that families are able to stay with their loved ones as they receive care to offer them company and support.

Thanks to the additional treatment chairs and consulting rooms, the centre is now seeing twice as many patients each day, in turn helping to reduce waiting times.

Feedback from patients has also been overwhelmingly positive, with 92% rating the design and layout as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ and 94% giving the same rating to the facilities, compared with 61% and 64% respectively for the old Woolverstone Wing. Patients have also said the comfortable surroundings have improved their experience of visiting the hospital and reduced the stress they feel while receiving treatment.

Staff working on the unit have also welcomed the changes, and gave high marks to every area in the recent NHS Staff Survey, which included design and layout, décor, patient privacy and staff facilities.

Sharon Austin, operational lead for cancer and pathology, said: “The Woolverstone Macmillan Centre has transformed the care which our cancer patients receive. The extension means we are treating more patients every day, which is bringing down waiting times and helping to prevent overnight admissions, which would sometimes happen in the old unit if a patient’s treatment did not start until later in the day.

“Thanks to the increased space, relatives are now able to stay with their loved ones while they receive treatment, while the modern, comfortable surroundings have had a huge impact on improving the experience of everyone using the centre.”

Hospital chief executive Nick Hulme said: “The centre cares for somewhere in the region of 500 patients every month, and for every one of those patients the staff here make a real difference to their lives.

“There are three aspects to healthcare – the science, the compassion and the environment – and one without the others doesn’t work. The fact the team here has all three means patients have a place to come for treatment that we are very proud of. It’s not always a happy place, but even at sad times the staff continue to make a huge difference.”

As part of the project, the number of treatment spaces increased from 12 to 30 and 13 new consulting rooms were created so that patients can discuss their care with medical staff in private.

Two new private chemotherapy bays were created for those who become ill during treatment, along with quiet rooms, a staff room and a roomy waiting area and themed gardens.