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Friday, 24 November 2017
VIDEO: Ipswich Hospital launches Blossom Appeal
27 October 2017

Blossom Appeal logoBlossom Appeal cake sale photoThe Blossom Appeal is a fundraising appeal to build a dedicated, £2.5m breast care centre, capturing the vision of consultant surgeon Caroline Mortimer, and was launched on Friday at the hospital as Cafe Deli Marche held a Bake off.

Many more fundraising events are on the horizon, Friday's event raised £1,274.50, and the addition of such a centre would be crucial.

 

Watch Caroline Mortimer discuss the Blossom Appeal

 

Patient referrals at Ipswich have increased by 25% over the last five years while nationally the number of patients with breast cancer is expected to rise by a further 2% by 2035, to 210 cases per 100,000 women.

The new centre, which would match the exceptionally high standards of care already delivered and help meet national waiting times, would house everything under one roof, allowing patients to be imaged, biopsied if necessary, and see their clinician in one appointment without the need to get dressed and undressed several times.

“Our appeal is fundamentally about creating enough space to be able to run clinics for dedicated groups of patients. This will increase efficiency and make the experience for our patients more personalised and less anxiety-provoking,” said Miss Mortimer.

“If patients sit in clinic and wait for a couple of hours to be seen, understandably they will get more and more worried. But if we have dedicated clinics we will be able to keep to time and won’t keep our patients waiting and that will be far better, not least if they are waiting for results.

“A new centre would make such a difference to patients’ lives. It would give them a gold standard service. They already get gold standard treatment but not the gold standard service.”

Patients currently have to visit three separate locations for breast care at the hospital – The Breast Clinic, the Breast Imaging department and Satellite Breast Screening (routine screening for women aged 50-70, under the National Screening Programme).

The centre will allow dedicated clinics for men and young people, as well as the huge number of women with symptomatic breast problems. It will also allow professionals to support anxious and emotionally vulnerable patients and give plenty of room for carers and loved ones to attend.

Breast cancer patient, Jo Whitelaw, from Great Blakenham, said: “It would be nice if it was a more relaxed experience for patients where they didn’t have to keep moving about and waiting.

“If we were all together we’d be able to make sure everyone could be offered tea and coffee wherever they are waiting. We do tell people they can take their drinks with them but we only have the facilities to make them in clinic.”

Miss Mortimer said: “Ultimately we would like to go on and have a drop-in service so patients who are being treated or have been treated in the past who have worries can book themselves in.

“We would also like to provide an area for social group activities such as coffee mornings, evening classes, support groups and fundraising events.”

Head of charity and fundraising at Ipswich Hospital, Mandy Jordan, said: “We can’t do this without the support of the local community.

“We need everyone to get involved and support the breast team.

“There will be a lot of opportunities to get involved and we ask people to keep an eye on our website.

“To find out more about how you could get involved or to donate to the Blossom Appeal please visit our website – www.ipswichhospitalcharity.co.uk/blossom